Nfld. & Labrador·Photos

What children packed before fleeing homes in Fort McMurray

Before fleeing Fort McMurray, many rushed around their homes grabbing essentials: important documents like passports and sentimental items like photo albums and family heirlooms. For children who fled and could only take a couple of things, they knew exactly what to reach for.

Security blankets, stuffed animals, books some of the items grabbed by children with Newfoundland roots

Kimberly Brown, Ian Norman and Quinn van Driesums pose with the items they took from their Fort McMurray homes before evacuating. (Submitted)

Before fleeing Fort McMurray, many rushed around their homes grabbing essentials: important documents like passports and sentimental items like photo albums and family heirlooms.

For children who fled and could only take a couple of things, they knew exactly what to reach for.

Hockey medals

Eleven-year-old Evan Norman’s parents are from Bonavista. (Caroline Hillier/CBC)

Evan Norman, 11, couldn't leave without taking his impressive collection of hockey medals.

Teddies in tow

Leah Brown, 8, is originally from St. Lunaire-Griquet. (Caroline Hillier/CBC)

Leah Brown, 8, took this toy she calls 'Elle' because to her, it's irreplaceable.

"My friend gave it to me and it's really special and there's no more in the store," said Leah.

Leah’s sister Kimberly Brown, 5, poses with her stuffed dog. (Submitted photo)

Kimberly Brown, 5, couldn't leave behind her favourite stuffed toy that reminds her of a former pet.

"I took my [stuffed] dog so I can remember Rusty that died," said Kimberly.

Olivia Pilgrim, 9, is from Straitsview, on the Northern Peninsula. (Submitted photo)

Olivia Pilgrim has been sleeping with 'Panda' every night since she was a baby, so naturally it was the first thing she tossed in her suitcase.

Not ready to bid bye-bye to blankie

Six-year-old Ian Norman’s parents are originally from Bonavista. (Caroline Hillier/CBC)

Ian Norman's home in Fort McMurray has been completely destroyed by fire. When he left his house for the last time, he took his baby blanket.

"I really like it and it's really special to me and I can share it with my brother and my baby sister," said Ian.

Even though he took his blanket, he's missing some of the other things the family was forced to leave behind.

"I'm gonna miss my little [pet] lizard, some of my teddies I left, I'm going to miss my new couch ... my little gun toys and my little figures."

A 5 pound gardening book

Quinn van Driesums’s mother, Andrea Reardon, is from St. John’s. (Submitted photo)

When Andrea Reardon told her three-year-old daughter Quinn to pack a small bag for herself, Quinn filled it with a few stuffed animals and books … including one that her mom was surprised to see.

"We wondered why [the bag] was so heavy, and when we finally got to Edmonton and opened it up, she had a gardening book — my hardcover Weekend Gardener book," said Reardon.

"I don't know why … That's what she wanted to take, so that's what she took."

See a short interview below with Ian Norman, 6, about his experience fleeing the Fort mac wildfire.

On mobile? View the video here.

About the Author

Caroline Hillier is the producer of the St. John's Morning Show.