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Community rallies around Shoreacres couple following house fire

A Shoreacres couple who lost their home and dog to a fire say they are overwhelmed by the community’s support.

Rachel Marks and Jordan Pyle’s home on Shoreacres-Goose Creek Road burned down last Friday.

Marks says she left for work about 11:30 a.m. that day and by 1:30, the house was gone. A neighbour called to let her know what was going on.

“You don’t hear it,” she says. “You don’t believe what they just said. But it was all true.”

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Three fire departments responded and kept the blaze from spreading to any neighbouring homes or other buildings on the property.

Marks described the house as an “old Doukhobor home” that was all wood and didn’t take much time to become engulfed once the fire sparked.

The cause is under investigation. Marks said because the scene has since been covered with snow, it will be difficult to pinpoint the origin, although based on a neighbour’s account of where it started, she doesn’t think it was a chimney fire.

“They might not have an answer for us because the destruction is so bad,” she said. “I’ve let go of the material stuff, but we lost our dog. That’s what hurts the most.”

She said Dexter was “a little dog with the biggest charm, sass and love for life. He will be deeply missed by many.”

A friend has established a gofundme page, which has raised $6,200 en route to a $10,000 goal.

“We are so lucky,” Marks said. “Words can barely describe the love and support that has come towards us from my neighbourhood to all my friends and family to complete strangers. We have been so well taken care of. It’s unreal. It’s overwhelming.

“I think if it wasn’t all of the support we’ve been getting we wouldn’t be doing as well as we are.”

People have come forward with donations of clothing, foods, and gifts, she said. She returned to the site to find a note on a tree dedicated to their dog.

“I couldn’t imagine anybody going through this, but if they did, I could only hope they get the same kind of support we are. It’s a beautiful thing.

“I’m definitely going to put more an effort into where and when I can [help], just seeing what people have done for us. We’re going to do it more for others.”

(Photos below are all courtesy Rachel Marks)

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