A fire on Christmas Eve has left a Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., family homeless over the holidays.

Noella Cockney, the community's acting fire chief, said the blaze started around 2 a.m. Dec. 24 and took firefighters more than eight hours to extinguish. She said firefighters were hampered by a lack of water and temperatures below -30C.

"All of the gloves we were holding were freezing and I think most of us had to go back to the fire hall at different times to change into another pair of gear because we were frozen solid," she said.

The father, Roland Kuptana, tried to put out the fire before firefighters arrived, Cockney said, and sustained minor injuries. The children escaped unhurt.

A photo from the scene shows a house completely gutted by fire.

Cockney said the family is now staying with relatives. She said the entire community is offering donations of clothes and supplies.

"They [the family] lost everything, everything that they had," she said. "They didn't have jackets shoes or anything."

Neighbours have started a crowdfunding campaign to get the Kuptana family back on its feet. It's raised more than $5,000 in four days.