An Angus man is recovering from a house fire that left him bandaged from head to torso, and with no clear sense of what caused the blaze that destroyed his Margaret Street home.
Justin Hunt, 33, suffered burns to his esophagus, back and left arm as he escaped through the smoke and fire that tore through his home shortly after 5 a.m. on Jan. 9. Once outside, he sliced open his right arm punching in a window in an attempt to rescue the family dog, Molly, but he was unable to retrieve her.
“He was in an induced coma on a ventilator, but woke up from that Sunday night at 11 p.m.,” girlfriend Cassandra Brunelle said Jan. 13.
Brunelle said Hunt’s daughter Kaede, 10, and son Masen, 8, were staying with their grandparents that evening and are living with her while their father remains in hospital.
With four children of her own, Brunelle said she’s busy, yet she can’t get over the support from the community since Hunt’s house burned down.
“It’s been an amazing response by everyone,” she said.
Both Angus Morrison Elementary and Baxter Central Public schools have offered school supplies, there have been a few local fundraisers, and several Facebook groups have rallied around the young parents.
“As soon as everybody heard, there was a large outpouring from the community,” Brunelle said.
Donations of food, toys and clothing have been dropped off at Cristina’s Place Portuguese and Keto Bakeshop on Mill Street in Angus.
The Office of the Fire Marshal was called to determine the cause of the fire, said Essa Township Deputy Fire Chief Doug Burgin.
“Unattended cooking caused the fire,” he said, adding there was extensive damage to the house.
A GoFundMe account has already received more than $11,000 in donations. To donate, visit www.ca.gf.me/v/c/rpyw/justin-hunt-family-community-outreach.
Cheryl Browne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance