Woman and cat escape burning mini-home

·2 min read

Tressa Brown awoke from a short afternoon nap in the front bedroom of her mini home in Lindsay, N.B. Thursday, June 9, to the strong smell of smoke. She opened her bedroom door to find a wall of thick black smoke from floor to ceiling.

"I could barely see anything," Brown said.

Through the choking fumes, she spotted her cat, which climbed onto the kitchen table. Grabbing the animal, she found the front door and made it outside. Luckily, she was the only one of four home at the time.

Woodstock Fire Department received the structure fire call to 890 Route 550 in Lindsay, 10 kilometres west of Woodstock, at 4:30 p.m. The dispatcher also advised them the home's residents were safely outside.

Woodstock Fire Chief Harold McLellan said firefighters arrived to find flames extending from the bedroom at the opposite end of the mini home from Brown's bedroom. He said the fire had already spread along the roof while smoke and intense heat filled the structure.

Fire crews quickly knocked down the fire, but not before the flames burst through the roof and walls surrounding the burning bedroom.

While the blaze's visible remnants are limited on the exterior to the walls and roof surrounding the bedroom at the west end of the mini home, the interior is another matter. Fire and smoke damaged almost the entire interior, including furniture, appliances and other items.

McLellan said the family might be able to salvage a few keepsakes but little else.

Brown said they lost almost everything in the home.

"The heat actually melted a clock," she said.

Brown's trucker husband, Jason Killam, was travelling in the Bathurst area. She said she called him with the bad news, and he immediately headed for home.

Left with only the clothes she was wearing, Brown said they would have to decide what to do next, but at first glance, it appeared their uninsured mini-home can't be saved.

She said they would stay with family while figuring out their next step.

McLellan toured the house with Brown following the fire. Firefighters helped family members nail a sheet of plywood over the smashed-out bedroom window.

McLellan said they have yet to determine the cause of the fire, but don't deem it suspicious.

Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, River Valley Sun

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