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'It was so scary': Saskatoon couple raising funds to rebuild after fire

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The owners of a home that was devastated by fire last week in the Massey Place neighbourhood are looking for support as they put their lives back together.

“It was pretty intense and really scary,” Christina Fontaine told CTV News about the fire, which left the couple, their dogs and two snakes out on the street.

It was just before 3 a.m. when Fontaine was awoken suddenly by her husband.

“He said, get out of the house now, there’s a fire. I knew by his tone that he meant business,” she recalls.

The fire moved from the back deck where it started through the dining room and kitchen, located at the back of the house.

It devoured their home within minutes, Fontaine says.

She said she dodged flames and smoke to escape through the front door, which wasn’t the nearest escape route, but the intense flames were taking out the ceiling and walls rapidly.

A news release from the fire department said crews had a hard time advancing into the house to battle the blaze because of the “heavy fire load.”

Courtesy: Shane Dion

“I knew I had to get by it fast or I’d be stuck there so I just went by and held my breath. There was so much heat from the fire. It was so scary,” Fontaine says.

They left in their pajamas, leaving their possessions behind, and the smoke and water damage didn’t leave much to salvage. She’s wearing donated clothes from people who reached out offering to help through the Go Fund Me page.

Fontaine’s brother mobilized to help.

“We started a Go-Fund-Me page to just help as much as we could and the support has been overwhelming,” brother Lou Fontaine told CTV News.

Some donations have come from strangers, while the family’s ties to the music community and drag racing have helped with donations.

“It’s awesome to be involved and have friends you can count on,” he said.

Investigators said the cause of the fire is undetermined.

The couple are staying next-door with Fontaine’s parents. That’s where their two dogs are now.

She says they’re pretty shaken up and confused but she’s glad the were the first to escape. They were also able to get their two corn snakes out.

“The firemen let my husband go in and get them.”

They are still in shock now, Fontaine admits, but hope to have a home to go to in a year.

“I was just so grateful when I got to the door and saw that my dogs were ok and my husband’s ok. It was just such a relief.”

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