Katie Bumphrey sat on the grass on the corner of the block, surrounded by family, watching as crews fought the fire in her home.
“All our stuff is in there. This sucks so bad. I never thought that would happen … because all our stuff is in there.”
The fire started at the house at 1349 Athol Street late Wednesday afternoon. As of the evening there was no word on what caused the fire, or whether anyone was hurt.
Sixteen-year-old Bumphrey said she was in the home, sleeping on the couch downstairs, when the fire started.
“I just woke up and heard everybody screaming, like, ‘oh, fire,’ or whatever … I was so shocked, I didn’t even believe it. But I guess it’s true.”
She ran her hands through her hair and covered her face while talking about it, saying she was “heartbroken.”
Neighbours stood across the street from the house and in the alley behind watching the firefighters go in and out, spraying white foam on the flames as smoke continued to billow out the windows and seep out from under the roof.
Margret Gilchuk came outside shortly after the fire started.
“Flames shooting out of the attic, like, it was just unreal … you could just see a big ball of orange coming out of the top of the house there.”
She said she was concerned the fire was going to catch on the trees in the backyard, their branches very close to the home.
Joe Green said he and his family came from down the block when they heard sirens from the fire trucks.
“We came up, there was fire trucks pulling up, and there was flames shooting out of the house.”
This isn’t a foreign site for this neighbourhood. According to neighbours, the house next door had a fire just weeks ago.
“There’s been enough fires around that we’ve sort of been coming to see, as they get closer and closer to our house, to see what’s going on,” said Green.
One woman said the fires combined with criminal activity in the area has her moving out of her home just down the block this weekend.