An Orillia family "lost everything" after their High Street home went up in flames on Saturday night.
Orillia Fire Department deputy chief, Chris Ferry, says the cause of the fire is still undetermined due, in part, to the nature of the damage and the extremely cold temperatures.
“Just before 8 p.m. the guys got called for a fire. When they arrived, they saw fire coming from the roof area of the home,” Ferry said.
Temperatures dipped below -26 Celsius Saturday night, making the task of firefighting difficult for the 15 firefighters who responded.
“When it’s very cold like that it takes a toll on the firefighters. Their energy gets used up faster because they are cold. It takes a toll on our equipment as well, it freezes up because we are constantly spraying water,” Ferry said.
“We circulate our firefighters through what we call rehab more often to get warmed up and try to keep our equipment from freezing up.”
Fortunately, all four occupants of the home - including the family dog - safely evacuated the home with no injuries before firefighters arrived. Ferry says smoke alarms and carbon dioxide alarms were in the home at the time of the fire.
The damage to the home is estimated at $300,000 and the family is insured, Ferry noted.
According to a GoFundMe campaign that was created one day ago, the residents of the home were Julie, Shawn, and Dayne Sharp, and they "lost everything" in the blaze. The family is staying at The Village Inn on Colborne Street East and are in need of some help.
The family is looking for coats, shoes, clothes, and gently used puppy items for the family's Chihuahua, Coco. They also need essential hygiene items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, body wash, and women's products. The fundraising efforts have raised $4,160 of the $10,000 fundraising goal to date.