A fire on Nova Scotia’s South Shore razed a house and killed four people early Saturday morning, while two others escaped and were taken to hospital.
Several local fire services received the call around 4 a.m. Saturday and sent crews to the home on Upper Branch Road in Auburndale, N.S., a small community just outside Bridgewater.
The bungalow was already engulfed in flames when emergency responders arrived, and it took several hours of work by about 50 firefighters to bring the fire under control, said Midville and District Fire Department Chief Cory Emino.
Emino said trucks stayed on the scene for more than 15 hours.
Two people had already escaped the house when crews arrived on the scene — a 36-year-old man and a four-year-old boy.
The four victims, a woman and three children, were later found inside the home.
‘Her smile would light up a room’
The woman was 33-year-old Kaylea Savory, and two of the children were her sons, 11-year-old Harley Savory and eight-year-old Hendrix Savory.
“Incredible,” is how Savory’s brother summed her up.
“Her laugh and her smile would light up a room,” James Stewart told CBC News.
Stewart said his sister, who was his best friend, was at the happiest point in her life.
She had just started a new career path as a teaching assistant, he said, and had dreams of becoming a guidance counsellor. She had just become an aunt for the first time, when Stewart’s first daughter was born last year, and she was engaged to be married.
Savory’s fiancé is the man who escaped the fire. He had two children from previous relationships who were also at the home early Saturday, Stewart said. His son is the boy who escaped; his daughter was the fourth victim.
Michelle Perry told CBC News she’s the mother of the boy who survived, and that her son is uninjured but his father was still being treated in hospital as of Sunday morning.
Counselling offered at schools
Savory worked at Bluenose Academy, a public school in Lunenburg. Her boys also attended the school — Harley in Grade 6 and Hendrix in Grade 3.
“They’re such special boys. I’ve had so many messages from teachers and mothers and parents of kids they went to school with about how special they were,” Stewart said.
“Harley was the greatest big brother to Hendrix … they were inseparable.”
The girl who died attended Greenfield Academy, another South Shore school. Administrators for both schools said in an email statement that additional staff, including grief counsellors, will be at the schools when students return from the long weekend on Tuesday,
They advised parents to talk to their children ahead of time about the deaths and notify the school if they need extra support.
RCMP say the fire is not believed to be suspicious, but it is still under investigation by the fire marshal and medical examiner.
Crews remained on the scene late Sunday morning, using large equipment to move around the remains of the bungalow. A concrete foundation was surrounded by large piles of charred debris.