top of page
  • Madeline Kerr

Expecting mother, kids, escape blaze that razed family home

Amy Cretes and her two children stood in the snow without their boots watching as their home in Masham went up in flames. 

Cretes, who is around seven months pregnant with twins, managed to get her eight-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son out of the house in time to escape injury, when their house caught fire on the afternoon of Feb. 5. She was also able to rescue one of the family’s dogs, but sadly a two-year-old Great Dane died inside the home. 

“Everything is gone,” Cretes recently told the Low Down. “Unfortunately, the whole house is totalled.” 

Without enough time to grab even their boots, the family stood outside in the cold until a neighbour came by and offered them a warm place to wait for emergency services. 

“I want to give a big shout out to our neighbours, Yves [Tourgeon] and Chantal [Boucher]. Yves came and got us when we didn’t have boots on, we had no coats, I didn’t have a purse and he came and picked us up – me and my kids and our dog – and brought us to his house to stay warm,” she said.

They were later joined by Cretes’ fiancé, David Tremblay, and the family went to the Wakefield Hospital as a precaution. Cretes confirmed that no one was injured.  

Firefighters later pulled the family’s dog from the house. The dog was not burned but likely died of smoke inhalation, Cretes explained.

 “She was still beautiful and she looked peaceful, that’s what my fiancé told me,” she said sadly, adding, “Now we have the chance to bury her.”

The couple, who previously lived in Wakefield, bought their first house together at the intersection of Chemins des Érables and Beurrerie four years ago. 

The fire, which started in the garage, quickly spread to the rest of the house. The MRC des Collines fire department says that it received a call at 2:48 p.m. and arrived on the scene just six minutes later. But it wasn’t enough time to save the house; firefighters were forced to completely demolish the building after extinguishing the flames. 

The fire department told the Low Down that the fire was extinguished as of 5:30 p.m. but around 30 firefighters remained onsite until 9:30 that evening. Wind was a major factor during the fight. They added that the garage where the fire started, which was attached to the rest of the house, was insulated with hay, causing the fire to spread more quickly.  Firefighters have not said what caused the blaze. A GoFundMe was immediately set up online by Cretes’ sister-in-law, Vanessa Lafontaine. As of publication, $14,525 of the $100,000 goal has been raised. 

Cretes, Tremblay and their children are currently staying with family in the area.

Cretes told the Low Down she is grateful for the generosity of the community and appreciates the support that even strangers have shown her family since Feb. 5. “The community has been really amazing,” she said. 

She is aware that many people want to find specific ways to help her family. 

“Right now a lot of people have reached out and have been sending us clothes, food, and gift cards. And so at the moment we don’t need anything specific,” she said, adding, “We are trying to do a triage to see what we have and what we need. We don’t have a lot of space to store things for now. So we will keep people posted with what we’re missing...”  

An update of specific items that people can donate will be posted to the GoFundMe page, at: 


bottom of page