A central Alberta family lost multiple pets after a fire burned down their home earlier this month.
Jessica and Jessie Wales left their home, just north of Rocky Mountain House, on March 4, to pick up a few things. When they were on their way home, Jessica received a call from her boss – she was told their house was on fire.
“There was just panic. We got home as fast as we could, hoping we’d be able to put it out or get the animals out. But it was too late by the time we got there,” said Jessica.
Their dog, three cats, two ferrets and hamster were killed in the fire.
“The whole situation was awful. The house was full of flames when we got there,” she said.
“It’s been a very difficult time, mostly because of the loss of our pets. The stuff is just stuff, but we really miss our pets.”
Jessica said it’s possible one of the cats was able to get out of the building, but she isn’t sure.
“We’ve been going back every day with food and have tried calling him,” she said.
The Wales’ two children, aged seven and eight, were on the school bus heading home at the time of the fire, said Jessica.
“They know what happened. Kids are so resilient though. They’re sad of course, but I don’t know if they fully understand how awful it is,” she said.
The family is currently living in a hotel, but did find a three-bedroom home and plans on moving in April 1.
A GoFundMe page, created to support the family has raised more than $3,000 in less than a week.
“The community has been there to help us – our friends, family and even complete strangers have been reaching out to us,” said Jessica.
“We’ve had a storage unit donated to us by a business in town, we’ve had some free meals from different restaurants. The support has been overwhelming – in a good way. I want to say thank you to everyone who has been helping us. It’s hard to thank each individual person.”
To find the fundraiser page, search “Help Jesse Rebuild his Home” on gofundme.com.