A Winnipeg family living on social assistance has lost everything following a house fire on New Year’s Day.
Raylene Hall and her four children managed to escape their home on St. Mary’s Road, but everything they own was destroyed.
Hall was preparing lunch when the blaze broke out.
“The black smoke came right behind us, and it was just cracking like the fire was cracking so bad,” said Hall. “It sounded like it was going to explode.”
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Fire crews and police quickly arrived, cordoning off St. Mary’s Road while massive plumes of smoke rose into the sky. Hall and her family watched as their home burned.
“You know, the baby, she had no pants on in the middle of winter,” she said, of her 16-month-old daughter Precious.
Crews were able to get it under control, but what was left behind was an ashen, icy mess.
Asiaiha, 4, and Alisha, 3, lost all of their Christmas presents, while their 13-year-old teen brother lost a new iPod.
Beyond the presents, the family lost a lifetime of memories.
“[I lost] all the photos of them as newborns,” she said.
Hall said she thinks the fire was started by her friend’s son, who lit a candle that accidentally started a bedroom mattress on fire.
But regardless of how it started, Hall said she knows she won’t get it all back. The family had no insurance.
“I didn’t know about that until after, so now we just have the clothes on our back. We don’t have anything,” she said.
Hall and her children had plans to go to a hotel Thursday night after spending the day at a Salvation Army shelter. Some of their friends have started collecting donations for the family.