Nova Scotia

The kindness of strangers — and friends — restores Glace Bay woman's home

Kimmy Losier says the community has rallied to help her since her home was damaged by a burst pipe in the abandoned side of her duplex.

Kimmy Losier's duplex was extensively damaged by a burst pipe next door

Kimmy Losier says she's overwhelmed by the support she has received. (Gary Mansfield/CBC)

A single mother in Glace Bay says the community has rallied around her since her home was damaged by a burst pipe.

"I can't even describe in words the gratitude that I feel towards everybody who's pitched in to help me and my son stay in our home," said Kimmy Losier. 

Losier lives in an older duplex, and when the tenants in the unit beside hers abandoned their home a few months ago, they turned off the furnace, but not the water.

The pipes burst in bitter cold in mid-January, and Losier came home from work to find her home flooded.

Friends jumped in to help and now the worst seems to be behind her.

Kimmy Losier says most of the work that remains to be done on her home is cosmetic. (Gary Mansfield/CBC)

"When the construction started, we had to gut the whole front of the house, so it was down to the point where I had just a toilet in an empty room that was once a bathroom," she said.

"I came home today and I have floors!"

Losier said most of the remaining work is cosmetic.

"If they [her friends] walked away now and said, 'This is all we can do to help you,' I would be more than happy with how things look," she said.

Generous strangers

Losier has benefited from a GoFundMe campaign launched by a friend in Alberta. It's raised about $6,000 so far.

There have also been more donations from closer to home.

Losier opened a special account at the credit union where she works when people she didn't even know started coming in to give her money.

And then, there were the letters.

"Two handwritten notes came in the mail from women I don't know just saying, 'No thanks is necessary. We understand how hard this is on you. We're hoping this small donation will help,' and there was two cheques in there."

Demolition pending

Just as encouraging for Losier is that the Cape Breton Regional Municipality has posted a notice of demolition on the vacant side of her duplex. The property will be dealt with at this month's council meeting, when a demolition order is likely to be issued.
A notice of demolition has been posted on the vacant half of the duplex. (Gary Mansfield/CBC)

She will have to find the money then to shore up the wall adjoining the two homes and make it weather-tight.

All the same, Losier said, she's reaching the point where she can see the end of all the upset.

"Some days you cry, but they're tears of joy this time," she said. "It's not tears of sorrow anymore. It's not crying because my house is devastated. You're so emotionally overwhelmed by the support that you're receiving, it's indescribable."

With files from Gary Mansfield.