Family of three forced out of home by Christmas Eve blaze in Hay River

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The interior of this residence on Pine Crescent in Hay River suffered major damage as a result of a fire on Christmas Eve.
Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

A house fire on Christmas Eve has displaced a family of three in Hay River.

According to Fire Chief Ross Potter, the fire occurred at about 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 24 in a trailer at 11 Pine Cres.

There were no serious injuries to the residents.

“Some smoke inhalation, but that was dealt with and they’re fine,” said Potter.

The residents had returned home from last-minute shopping and opened the door to discover smoke billowing out. Their pet dog was recovered from inside, but it did not survive.

“There was major damage to the kitchen,” said Potter. “The rest of the house has smoke damage.”

The fire chief said the cause of the fire is believed to have been an electrical fault.

“Nothing they could have done about it,” he said. “It wasn’t from Christmas decorations or anything like that.”

Potter could not say if the older trailer is a complete loss because of the fire and smoke damage.

“I can’t make that judgment call,” he said.

The trailer is still standing and there are no exterior signs that there had been a fire inside.

“You’d never know it from the outside that it had a fire,” said Potter.

The fire chief noted that an effort to put out the blaze began even before firefighters arrived.

“One of the owners’ friends had started fire suppression by the time we got there,” he said. “They used a fire extinguisher, knocked it down, which helped us. As far as our fire fight, it went very quickly. We had a really good team there and had lots of firefighters.”

The fire, especially because it occurred on Christmas Eve, has moved many residents of Hay River to help the family.

A call went out on Facebook for donations, gift cards, groceries, clothes and more.

A GoFundMe page was also begun with a goal of $5,000.

By mid-afternoon on Christmas Day, the GoFundMe effort had resulted in donations of $6,445.

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