Family escapes blaze that destroys 2 homes in Cochin, Sask.
Family did not have fire insurance, has lost everything
It's been an extremely difficult Christmas week for a Saskatchewan family following a major fire that destroyed their home.
On Sunday, Dec. 22, the Caron family barely escaped flames at their home in the village of Cochin, Sask., about 35 kilometres north of North Battleford.
Teen spots fire from highway
Brendan Lafreniere, 18, saw the flames from the highway and followed them into the village and helped to get the family out of their house.
I am still sad, now that my family has no home.- Makenna Caron, 10
"I hopped the back fence and then the back door was locked and I had to kick it six times to get in," Lafreniere said.
"By the time I opened the door ... I could see flames and smoke had just filled the whole house real quick."
Homeowner didn't know there was a fire
The family of five, including Mike Caron, didn't even know their house was on fire until Lafreniere arrived and alerted them. Caron had been making dinner when the knock on the door came.
With him at the time were his girlfriend, his 11-year-old son, his 10-year-old daughter, and a nine-month-old baby boy.
He quickly realized how bad it was and scrambled to bring his family outside.
"Just a red blaze and heat," Caron said. "You couldn't get close. It was like a dream. You couldn't imagine it happening. [We] just stood there in awe and watched it happen."
Dog trapped inside
Lafreniere said he also went back in to get the family's dog, Jager. He kicked in the back door of the burning home, crawled along the floor to reach the dog and then, with thick smoke choking him, managed to drag Jager outside.
Fire crews turned up 15 minutes later and both the Caron's house and house next door — which is used as a summer home and was not occupied — were destroyed.
While the Caron family said they are thankful to be alive, the experience hasn't been easy for 10-year-old Makenna Caron.
"I was just really, really scared," Makenna Caron said. "I am still sad, now that my family has no home. I feel really, really sad. I feel sad because my family could have got hurt."
Family seeks new home
Mike Caron said his family does not have fire insurance and has lost everything to the fire. They hope to find a new place to live in North Battleford.
The cause of the fire is still unknown.