Residents from 2 units escape Kingston house fire

Seven people managed to escape a fire in a two-storey house in Kingston, N.S., early Saturday morning, according to the Canadian Red Cross.

The organization said there were two units in the building. A couple and a teenage boy lived in one unit and a woman and three young children lived in the other.

Volunteers have arranged for emergency food, shelter, clothing and toys for the residents, the Red Cross said in a news release.

The Kingston District Fire Department was called to the building on George Street at 12:10 a.m.

Fire Chief Watson Armstrong said the front of the house was on fire when firefighters arrived, and the blaze spread into the eaves and attic before burning the roof off.

Ian Swinamer

"It did quite a number on the house. There was extensive damage to the house, exterior and interior," Armstrong said.

Crews from Nictaux, Middleton and Aylesford also responded to the call for help.

Armstrong said the cause of the fire is still under investigation, but he believes it may have been sparked by an electrical issue. He said two cats also made it out safely.

'I saw the flames were up through the roof'

Sondra Hatcher lived in an upstairs unit with her three children, ages two, five and seven.

Hatcher was in bed when she heard a weird zapping sound and her light started flickering. She got out of bed and walked down the stairs and saw flames on her back deck.

"I immediately ran upstairs and started yelling at my two older boys, grabbed my youngest out of his bed and then we went down the stairs and just went out the front entrance," Hatcher told CBC's Mainstreet on Tuesday.

Hatcher said she called 911, went to her neighbour's place and started banging on their door to warn them about the fire.

"The next time when I actually looked at the house, I saw the flames were up through the roof near the back of the building," Hatcher said.

Moving forward

By the time the fire trucks arrived, Hatcher said "it was looking pretty bad."

She is still waiting to hear back on when she can go back in. The only thing she managed to get from her home, aside from her children, was her cellphone.

Hatcher said the Canadian Red Cross and others have been kind, donating items like clothing, since the fire. She said they had been staying at a motel and now they're staying with a friend. She said her kids are doing "pretty good."

"They keep asking when we're going home or where we're going next," she said.

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