A Yellowknife family is seeking support from the community after a reported explosion and house fire in the city early on Tuesday morning.
Marina and Scott Dyke were able to exit the house on Dagenais Drive unharmed with their children, aged two and five, according to Dwayne Simmons, Marina’s brother.
The family dogs were accounted for, Simmons said, but two cats are still missing.
“At this point, we have to presume they didn’t make it,” he told Cabin Radio.
Simmons said the fire was caused by an explosion in the right side of the house.
“My best guess is there was a propane leak that filled the crawlspace full of propane, and propane sits below air, so it would fill that whole space,” he said.
“When it’s got nowhere else to go, it will come up into the home. They had a wood stove burning in the downstairs right bedroom, and that would have initiated the blast that pretty-much took out three quarters of the house.”
The bedrooms where the Dykes were sleeping were in the only part of the house that wasn’t badly damaged in the blast, Simmons said, though the subsequent fire did eventually destroy the entire house.
The fire marshal is understood to be investigating. The cause of the reported explosion and fire has not been formally confirmed.
Simmons said hospital workers had identified mild frostbite on Marina’s feet from spending close to 20 minutes outside barefoot, but no other injuries were reported.
Simmons has created a GoFundMe for people to donate to the family. The fundraiser had already raised more than $7,000 by 10:30am on Tuesday.
A list of items needed by the family will be published in the near future, Simmons said, to help avoid any duplication of donations.