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  • Trevor Greenway

Alcove family loses home, cats in fire

An Alcove family has been left homeless after an intense afternoon fire destroyed their house and killed two cats Nov. 16.

Chloé Bélanger said she is lucky to be alive after desperately trying to save her three cats during the blaze that destroyed her family home on Chemin de la Ferme-Malone. The fire started just before 3 p.m. Nov. 16, as she arrived home from having her winter tires installed. Bélanger said she first heard the smoke alarm and noticed smoke billowing out of the house.

“I ran to the house and saw smoke coming out of the outside wall of the third-floor bathroom. I immediately went into the house, there was a thick cloud of smoke, and I could catch one of my three cats, Obie,” said Bélanger, who is six months pregnant. After pulling her cat to safety, she entered the burning house a second time to save more pets, but couldn’t rescue them amid the chaos.

“I went up to the third floor and saw the bathroom on fire filled with smoke,” recounted Bélanger. “I went down to the second floor to look for my cats, but I still couldn't see them. I started to see the fire falling from the ceiling…. Then I went down to the first floor at ground level and found my little Kenobi cat hiding behind a piece of furniture, but it was too heavy, and I wasn't able to get to her.”

Standing outside, comforted by neighbours, Bélanger had no choice but to watch her home burn to the ground. She had left a patio door open, hoping her other two cats, Chamon and Kenobi, would make it to safety, but they never did.