A house fire in the Labrador community Hopedale over the weekend has left destroyed the home of a family that is at sea, fishing their crab quota.

Hopedale, Labrador

Ross and Elizabeth Flowers left Hopedale last Thursday with their adult son Ryan for a month-long trip to catch crab.

Early Saturday morning, fire gutted their home, destroying their possessions and killing their dog, Patch.

"When I got down there, the house was already ... just the four walls standing. It was terrible," said Martha Winters-Abel, Elizabeth Flowers' sister.

She said the family now must decide whether to return home, or stay at sea.

"They didn't know what they were going to do," Winters-Abel said. They were trying to come back, but we all think they should stay there till they get their quota and then we can start working."

Const. Terry Pomeroy of the RCMP said it is not clear what started the fire.

"We do not believe that anything criminal occurred, and so I guess it'll take some time until we get to the bottom of it," Pomeroy said.

Neighbours have already started fundraising for the family.