Nova Scotia

Amherst family loses home and pet in fire

The Wheaton family in Amherst was planning to watch the Super Bowl with friends Sunday evening, but minutes after they left their home to get snacks their house went up in flames.
Dennis and Claudette Wheaton's home was severely damaged by fire Sunday. (CBC)

The Wheaton family in Amherst was planning to watch the Super Bowl with friends Sunday evening, but minutes after they left their home to get snacks, their house went up in flames.

"Devastated, we're devastated," Dennis Wheaton said Monday.

He and his wife, Claudette, were back at their home to see what can be salvaged.

"I'm kind of numb. I have no words, I'm numb," Claudette Wheaton said.

It was just after 1 p.m. Sunday when they left to go grocery shopping in preparation to watch the Super Bowl.

"I got a phone call from my neighbour at the grocery store and they said there's smoke coming out of your house everywhere," Dennis Wheaton said.

"We got here as fast as we could, which was about a minute. I wanted to try and save my dog, and we were too late for that so we had to stand back and wait until we could get in."

At first Wheaton thought the fire may have started near his wood stove, but that's not the case.

The fire started in the kitchen. (CBC)

"It turns out that the kitchen was the hot spot and we don't understand how it started but it started in the garbage, as far as we know, or in the broom or something," he said.

"There's extreme smoke damage. The kitchen is a total write-off as far as I can see. Water damage, lots of water damage and the loss of a pet."

The Wheatons are now waiting for their insurance company before deciding their next move.

Claudette Wheaton said they were lucky, except for losing their pet.

"It's all replaceable, except our dog is not replaceable," she said.

The Wheatons are thankful to the Red Cross for their help and the many offers of help from friends.

"We spent an evening with a friend who took us in. We had millions of offers and thanks to those friends that did offer to us because it lets you know that they don't forget favors they all do for each other and stuff," Dennis Wheaton said.

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