Red Deer Emergency Services had a basement fire out within minutes of arriving at a home at 59th Avenue and 71st Street last Wednesday. (Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff)

Red Deer Emergency Services had a basement fire out within minutes of arriving at a home at 59th Avenue and 71st Street last Wednesday. (Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff)

Red Deer family who lost everything in house fire begin rebuilding

Couple had moved into north-end home only two days before basement fire

A Red Deer couple with two children who lose their new home to a fire last week spent Wednesday sifting through their ruined belongings.

Cory Gray said almost everything he and his girlfriend Stefanie Couture owned had been stored in the basement until they could get their home set up. They had moved in only two days before.

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“She’s pretty upset. Yesterday wasn’t easy, going through that stuff,” said Gray on Thursday.

Pretty much all of their belongings have been lost.

“Everything, I mean everything,” he said from Saskatchewan, where he had to return to his job at a gas plant. “There’s stuff for the kids. That’s just the hardest part. It’s stuff that you can’t replace.”

Baby photos were lost and albums containing photos of themselves as children are ruined.

“You’re able to identify some things and they are completely destroyed.”

A space heater triggered the fire that began in the basement and badly damaged their home in north Red Deer early afternoon on April 11. Fire-medics were on scene within minutes and soon had the fire out but there was extensive smoke damage.

No one was home at the time and all are safe, including their 18-month and nine-year-old daughters. Even the family cat got out unharmed.

The couple have moved into a rented condo while insurance gets sorted out and repairs can be arranged for their home. It could take more than six months he’s been told.

“They’re working on it right now. We don’t know how long it can be.”

Gray appreciates the support they have been getting.

“We’ve been getting clothes from people and stuff to help us out.”

Gray’s sister in Manitoba set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for him and his family. As of Thursday, more than $3,100 had been raised towards the $5,000 goal.

Couture expressed her gratitude to all those who are helping them out on GoFundMe.

Thank you so much everyone… our hearts are filled with love. No words can express the sadness in our lives right now. But we couldn’t ask for better friends/family xo feeling the love for sure.”



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

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