A family who lost their home to a fire in Behchokǫ̀ shortly after Christmas expressed thanks for the community’s support in the following days.
Lisa and Gary Simpson and their six children lost their home and possessions to a fire on the night of December 28. Lisa’s niece, Jody Zoe, subsequently started a fundraiser for the family that had raised $4,830 as of Tuesday morning.
“All the people that are supporting us, sending their thoughts, prayers and everything towards our family, is a blessing. It’s a huge blessing,” Lisa Simpson told Cabin Radio.
“I’m happy. I’m thankful for everything that everyone is doing. My heart, our heart is happy, but it’s sad at the same time when you think about it.”
On the night of the fire, Simpson said she and her six children had gone to bed when she heard loud banging on her window and her phone kept ringing. Then someone kicked in her door and told her that her house was on fire.
Simpson said it wasn’t until her husband went outside and tried to put out the fire with an extinguisher that she saw flames.
Simpson gathered her children, the youngest being four months old, and rushed outside.
“As soon as we got out, all the smoke came and everything just went black,” she described. “Everybody made it out safe. We were just shocked, traumatized, just devastated, crying.”
Simpson said she’s thankful for those who alerted her family.
“If it wasn’t for the people then I don’t know where we’d be,” she said. “They caught this just in time.”
Simpson said her family had lived in the house for around 60 years.
Since the fire, they have been staying with relatives.
Simpson believes the fire started in an outlet on the front porch. RCMP said they are not investigating the fire as “there did not appear to be a criminal element.”
The fire marshal’s office said it is investigating the fire that started on a side porch. In a statement, a spokesperson said “it is highly suspected that the fire is electrical in nature and resulted from a damaged overheated electrical cord.”