A Kentville, N.S., family lost its home in a fire early Saturday.

The two adults and three children were asleep in the older, wood-framed home when the fire started. The house did not have working smoke detectors and the family only escaped when neighbours banged on the door at 2:30 a.m.

The back door was boarded up and the front door engulfed in flames, so the family jumped out the back window.

The home at 1131 Lanzy Road was gutted.

"They don't know which way to turn now," said Chief Shawn Ripley of the Kentville Volunteer Fire Department. "They've just got the clothes on their backs. They're really in dire straits."

The family is staying with a relative and are getting some emergency aid from the Canadian Red Cross.

Ripley said it was a rent-to-own home without content insurance. All of the children were under the age of 12. He said the cause of the fire might have been electrical, candles, or from smoking.

"It was an accidental fire that started in the porch. Basically it's a total loss," he said. "They are devastated."