NIPIGON, Ont. — An investigation continues into the cause of a fire that destroyed a house where a Nipigon family has lived for about 30 years.
Kaila Copp says the Sunday morning blaze destroyed "every single thing" owned by her parents, Heather Martin Hephner and Ben Hephner.
Copp's two sons, aged five and twelve, had spent the night with their grandparents, but all four were able to get outside safely.
She said the fire started sometime after 6 o'clock in the morning.
"My mom just heard crackling and wondered if it was hail, but then she looked out the back window and saw the garage was on fire."
Almost simultaneously, a neighbour who had spotted the fire and already called the fire department, was banging on the front door to wake up the occupants.
According to Copp, the fire department was out of town at the time dealing with an incident at Hurkett.
She said her family had to watch as the fire spread from the garage before firefighters arrived.
"It just took off and caught the corner of the house, and that was the end of it."
Copp said off-duty OPP officers came by to help, and convinced her dad to get out of the house after he went back in to retrieve important items.
"He was trying to save as much as he could, but unfortunately nothing was saved at all."
For now, her parents are staying with a family member, but they will relocate to a house that's maintained for emergencies by the Red Rock Indian Band until they can find permanent accommodation.
The family is posting notices stating they are accepting donations to a bank account via e-transfer to help the couple recover from the disaster.