A family of five on Newfoundland's Baie Verte Peninsula received a shock Wednesday night that's been a softened a bit by the generosity of of their neighbours.
Jeff and Nicole Andrews and their three children, 9, 7 and 5, lost their home in Brent's Cove — and everything in it — to a fire that broke out around 7 p.m. They were attending a Christmas movie event at a school at the time.
Since the fire, the community has rallied together to help the family out.
Andrews said a man in La Scie has offered them a house to rent for $300 a month, as well as donations of clothes, and $1,500. Red Cross volunteers have also been assisting with emergency supplies of clothing, food and personal-care items. An account has also been set up at Scotiabank.
"I'm really thankful to live in a small town where people help out," said Andrews.
'I'm really thankful to live in a small town where people help out' - Jeff Andrews, whose home burned to the ground Wednesday night
Andrews said a friend came over to them at the movie and said, 'You'd better get home, your house is on fire.'
Andrews said he and his wife left the children with a friend, hurried home, and found the remains of their home.
According to Andrews' brother-in-law, who is with the La Scie fire department, the house burned to the ground in six minutes.
They lost everything, including $2,000 worth of Christmas gifts for their kids. Andrews said all they had was the clothes they were wearing and his bank card.
Nicole Andrews said the family had recently moved into the home, but had no insurance.
"We're not long bought the house, actually it's hard to believe. I mean you hear talk about it, you know, happening to other people ... but you never realize it could happen to yourself? Everything you work hard for in your life is gone," she said.
The investigation into the cause of the fire continues.
Brent's Cove is located about 40 km east of Baie Verte.