A Tatamagouche family who lost all of their belongings in a fire on Monday says they're overwhelmed by the support of their community.

"The call went in at 9:58 a.m. on Monday," said Amanda Heitkemper, whose home was leveled by the flames. "By Monday night, we had everything we needed clothing-wise. We had food, we had playdough for the kids."

The local grocery store placed a money jar at one of its checkouts.

"We found it hard to believe," said Mike Belliveau of the Tatamagouche Foodland. "Amanda actually worked for us when she was a student growing up, so it was just like somebody from the house at home."

It's not just money and toys.

"We have had six offers of homes, furnished homes, that we are welcome to live in until we have our own place to live," said Heitkemper. "It's unfathomable to think that we could be so fortunate."

Heitkemper and her family are still dealing with the fallout of their loss, but she's already looking to pay it forward. She said she will hold on to any extra clothes that have been donated.

"It will go to a closet in our new home that will support the next family that needs help. Because until you need this kind of help, you have no idea how important that help is."


No one was home when the fire broke out. The family dog and cat died in the fire.

The garage behind the house wasn't damaged and a horse and two ponies, although rattled, weren't injured.

The home was insured and the family plans to rebuild.