A single Edmonton mother of three is devastated after the home she was renting went up in flames Saturday morning.
“It’s traumatic. It’s having everything that you’ve had and ever worked for just gone. Your Christmas tree, everything else that goes with it is gone,” Vanessa Schaub said.
The fire broke out in the home in the area of 121 Avenue and 93 Street at around 10 a.m.
The house was destroyed in the blaze. The windows of the home remained boarded up Wednesday afternoon, which was the first time Schaub returned to the house after Saturday’s fire.
READ MORE: Firefighters battle cold temperatures to douse northeast Edmonton house fire
Schaub doesn’t have insurance and said everything she had was lost in the fire, including everything she gathered for her kids for Christmas. But what’s most devastating for her is losing the ashes of her unborn son.
“I was still pregnant with him when he passed away. He was a twin. I never got to know him. That’s all I had of him was his ashes,” she said, holding back tears. “I cannot recover those. Everything’s gone. Nothing is salvageable.
“I have to rebuild everything. Everything. I have things that have travelled with me since many years ago and I can’t get them back. Pictures I’ll never get back. My son’s ashes. None of those are ever going to come back. I worked so hard to make that a home for my family and you’re sitting there and you’re watching the fire and you’re helpless and you can’t do anything, that’s what hurts.”
Schaub said she was cooking Saturday morning when she stepped out of the kitchen to use the washroom. When she came back the fire had taken over.
“Something went wrong,” she said. “It just went out of control. I couldn’t do anything. I noticed that the flames were on the ceiling by that time and by then everything was gone. The most important thing was to get everyone out.”
Schaub and her three kids – aged seven, four and 20 months – made it out of the home safely. She’s been staying with friends while her kids have been at Kids Kottage, an organization that takes in children for up to 72 hours in emergency situations. Come Thursday, Schaub said she’s not sure what she’ll do.
“Just trying to find something that works for my kids. That’s what matters are my kids,” she said. “I want a home. I want to rebuild, give my kids another shot at everything, another Christmas.”
The exact cause of the fire has not been determined.
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