CBC MARKETPLACE: YOUR HOME »
HOUSE ON FIRE!
A tale of two fires ... and two
Broadcast: October 10, 2004
There are more than 20,000
residential fires in Canada every year
Within the next 23 minutes
a home in Canada will catch fire. It's a nightmare Kathy Collishaw
and Don MacKenna have already lived through. So have Erik
Mohr and Tania Janthur.
DARTMOUTH, NOVA SCOTIA
The fire at Kathy Collishaw and Don MacKenna's
apartment was sparked by a welder's torch. The couple's apartment
was the hardest hit in the building. A lot of the damage was
caused by the firefighters themselves, as they struggled to
stifle the flames.
After the fire was extinguished, Kathy is allowed
in to check out her ravaged home. She wonders if she and Don
will ever be able to live in the apartment again.
The couple grabs what they can from the charred
wreckage --some medication and a few bags of smoky smelling
clothes. As they head out, a clean-up crew begins tossing
what can't be saved into the trash.
Kathy and Don pay $116 a year for apartment
insurance for their belongings. She assumes they’ll
just get another apartment and their insurance will cover
replacing their stuff.
But she soon learns that putting their life
back together after a fire is a lot more complicated than
Don's story: An apartment fire »
Every 23 minutes another
Canadian home catches fire
On a tree-lined street in downtown Toronto there's
been another fire. Another couple's home has been destroyed.
The inferno was set off by a leak in a gas line in the home's
Erik Mohr, Tania Janthur and their young daughter escaped with
the clothes on their backs. Just like Don and Kathy, they
were insured, and had no inkling that watching their house
on fire was only the beginning of their ordeal.
"I knew at the time," says Tania,
"that it’s going to be the piecing it together
afterwards that would be more difficult -- and I was very
right about that."
and Erik's story: A house fire »