Dennis Reid is a well-known man around the Town of Vermilion, recognized by many working at the Co-op gas bar in Vermilion.
A tragic fire burnt down his family home, located 13 miles straight east of Vermilion, on Wednesday night February 8.
“The fire started in the middle of the night when my son heard a pop sound. Then my two eldest got up to investigate. They found the room on fire and grabbed water jugs to put it out, and they managed to get it under control. I told them to check between the two floors because it’s an old house and I went back to the bedroom to put on clothes. They went upstairs to check, then ran back down and said ‘get out’!
Dennis Reid, who works at the Cornerstone Co-op gas bar in Vermilion, shared the story of his loss last week.
Photo Marie Conboy
It’s an old house that had space heaters, and we are pretty sure one of the space heaters failed overheating, or the pressure release valve blew.
My wife was first to leave because she has asthma, and she sat outside in the truck with our 16-month-old daughter. It spread very fast. My son was the last one out, and he just managed to get out just before the porch collapsed behind him.
I wanted to go back and save the animals. We had ten cats, and only three made it out; my son grabbed one cat on the way out, and another ran out past him with its tail on fire," said Dennis Reid.
The Vermilion Fire Department responded to the call out and arrived on the scene 24 minutes later.
“It seemed like forever when we were waiting for the Fire Department to arrive and when they did it was too late; the whole house was on fire. All they could do was stop the fire from spreading.
Something like this makes you realize how precious life is; my wife, my 16-month-old, my 9-year-old, 13-year-old and 18-year-old and I, all managed to get out! We are still here, but we have nothing left.
The house has been in the family since 1908, my Granddad and the neighbours built it, and I’ve lived there since I was 15 years old. It’s sad because we had so many memories there, it was a huge shock, and we are just taking things one day at a time now," said Reid, who is still in shaken from the event.
Dennis and his family watched their home burn to the ground.
Photo submitted by Dennis Reid.
Reid says the plan is to rebuild in the future and that he is glad he had house and house content insurance. The Co-op gas bar in Vermilion will be holding a fundraiser on February 22 from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m.
“We are very thankful for everything that has been donated so far. We lost everything, so anything that people are willing to donate would be greatly appreciated,” added Reid.
People wanting to donate can email Dennis at: firstname.lastname@example.org