Couple grateful for help after fire destroys their belongings
GREEN OAKS - Arlene and Gary Landry glance around the log cabin, their temporary home, still in disbelief that their own house and possessions are non-existent.
"It's hard watching years of your life go up in flames ... knowing it's all gone," said Arlene, referring to the Feb. 5 blaze that destroyed their Princeport mini-home at 3663 Riverside Rd.
"It's going to take a long time to get over it. You never think it would be you. I used to say, 'those poor people' when it happened to someone else but now it's us," added Gary.
As the couple, who work as delivery people for the Truro Daily News, make the best out of their current living arrangement in nearby Green Oaks they continuously relive the horrific event.
They arrived home from doing errands 15 minutes before they smelled smoke while watching television at 11:45 a.m.
"I ran down the hall. All I saw was smoke," said Gary.
That was until he crawled into a trap/escape door under the home.
"Then I saw flames. I just barely got out and burned my wrist, above my right eye and some of my hair got scorched," recalled Gary.
He and two others tried to put the fire out but it was "too far gone," Gary said, adding he barely had time to save the couple's dog, Snuggles, by pulling her out by her ears. Two cats are still unaccounted for.
"We go up every day and call for them in case," they are alive, added Arlene, who still pictures the flames engulfing her home.
"We walked out with just the clothes on our back," she said of the home they shared for about five years.
Even her diabetic medication she purchased the night before, worth hundreds of dollars, was lost.
The fire is believed to have been electrical. The home was insured by the landlord. The Landrys spent two nights with relatives and then moved into their landlord's cabin in Green Oaks.
Although they lost nearly everything, it's the sentimental losses that devastate the couple, including baby books and Gary's TV, stereo and furniture from his mother, Christmas ornaments from childhood and his antique Dinky collection.
"I won't collect anything anymore ... it's a reminder," said Gary.
They will stay at the cabin until another mini-home is built on the same lot, hopefully within a couple of months.
In the meantime, they are grateful for the community's help. Friends, family and even strangers have offered clothes, dishes, food and money.
Retired farmers in the area fundraised $280 for the couple as well.
"Thank you for all the help, especially Dana Geddes, our landlord," said Arlene.