A North York family has been left with only the clothes on their back after a fire ripped through their home last week.
Alverine Liscombe, a married mother of three, said the blaze destroyed all of her possessions, including family photos.
The photos she misses most are those of her late grandmother.
“That was close to my heart,” she said.
Liscombe woke up to the sound of fire alarms around 3 a.m. Nov. 5.
“I ran down the stairs to see if it was something minor that I could deal with on my own,” Liscombe said. “When I realized it’s not something minor, I started waking up my family and telling them to get out.”
The three-alarm fire, at 79 Gosford Blvd. in the Jane and Finch area, started in the basement.
Firefighter Janos Csepreghi was on the second truck to arrive on scene.
“The entire house from basement all the way up to the second floor was fully charged with smoke. You can’t even see your hand in front of your face,” he said. “Right when we got there, it was stated that all the occupants were out of the house, but we can’t take a statement like that for granted so we had to do a full search of the entire house.”
Csepreghi said everything in the basement got “melted and charred” while the rest of the townhouse sustained “extensive smoke and water damage.”
The Liscombe family escaped injury, but they didn’t have insurance.
The family is temporarily staying at a neighbour’s house.
“I lost all my belongings,” Liscombe said. “There’s no word to describe it. It’s very hard.”
On Tuesday afternoon, the Toronto Professional Fire Fighter’s Association gave the family a $500 cheque and access to free furniture.
“They were all great,” Liscombe said of the firefighters.
The cause of the blaze is believed to be an electrical problem.
Csepreghi said the firefighter’s association will be in touch with Liscombe “over the course of the next week and help her out as she moves through this.”