Members of a family in Glovertown, N.L., are reeling after losing their entire home to fire, but it could have been much worse if not for an 11-year-old boy's bravery.
'I'm so proud of him and I'm going to tell him for the rest of his life until he understands what a big thing he did.' - Marcy Smith
Marcy Smith was home with her children, David and Samantha Lutgendorf, on Friday evening when she decided to light her wood stove.
"It was a little cold, so I burned a small bit of garbage on the wood stove. It's something that we've done a thousand times," she said.
An hour after she put the last bit of garbage on the fire, Smith put her daughter to bed and she followed shortly afterwards.
When the flames started, Smith said the fire alarm didn't go off, and David was the only one still awake.
Smith said her son was doing FaceTime with his father when he noticed flames in the background of the screen and immediately rushed to wake up his mother and sister.
"Within seconds of him getting us up, the flames were everywhere," said Smith.
"It happened so fast. We were standing in the kitchen by the wood stove and the flames just ate around me and David. The entire kitchen just disappeared while we were standing in it."
Grateful for community support
The family survived, but Smith said there wasn't enough time to save the family dog and some of their cats.
'I'm just grateful to my son for what he did and grateful to the community for everything.' - Marcy Smith
Early Saturday morning, she stood outside her home with her children — all barefoot — and watched it burn to the ground.
In the days since the fire, the community on Newfoundland's northeast coast, just outside Terra Nova National Park, has rallied around the family.
A GoFundMe has been set up, and the Red Cross and town residents have stepped forward to provide the necessities to help get them back on their feet.
"I'm just grateful to my son for what he did and grateful to the community for everything that they have done for us," she said.
"They've brought clothes, they've donated money for groceries. I mean somebody anonymously donated my son a bike."
Smith said she never anticipated this kind of support following the fire.
"We have nothing but the pyjamas we had on," she said. "People have brought us shoes and sandals, and boots and clothes, just things I didn't think I needed."
Above all, she's thankful for her son for helping keep her family safe and sound.
"All he understands is that me and his sister and him got out. He doesn't understand that he's the only reason we did." said Smith.
"He did a huge thing for such a young boy. I'm so proud of him and I'm going to tell him for the rest of his life until he understands what a big thing he did."