May 28, 2014 3:00 pm
Updated: May 28, 2014 7:33 pm

Fire causes heavy damage to family home in East Preston

EAST PRESTON, N.S. – For the second time in about 24 hours, a fire badly damaged a house in the Halifax area — this time, it was a home in East Preston that burned.

Four adults were home when the fire started on the porch around 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Phil Ross was staying with his sister when he noticed the fire at the home, which belongs to his mother, Joyce Ross. She has lived in the house for 47 years.

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“I’m blessed to be alive because I was in bed when it happened and my son was at my daughter’s [house] and saw [my] house on the outside — a total blaze,” she said.

Joyce’s bedroom is near the porch where the fire began and her son hauled her out of bed. Along with Ross’s other son John, he grabbed the garden house and kept the fire under control until firefighters arrived.

Early Tuesday morning, fire ravaged a home in North Preston, although nobody was home at the time.

John said he “grabbed the hose, tried to put it out” and that the fire department “did a great job” to extinguish the flames.

It was a tough day for the Ross family, who were grieving the death of Joyce’s mother, who passed away at age 93.

“It’s just a coincidence that all the family was home because of my mother’s funeral,” Joyce said.

“I’m just so overwhelmed with the kindness and the hospitality and the help that was shown last night. I mean people just couldn’t do enough for me.”

Investigators think the fire might have been started by an errant cigarette butt that was not put out properly.

The fire damaged overhanging joists and also caused smoke and structural damage on the inside.

“As bad as it looks, I’m blessed because there’s only one side of the house and all my personal belongings and everything that I have is on the opposite side of the house, so I didn’t have a total loss of personal papers and stuff,” Joyce said.

John said his mother is remaining strong through trying circumstances.

“She’s doing really well, so you know she’s taking it all in stride and hopefully,” he said. “We’ll get this fixed and get her back into her house.”

In the meantime, she is staying with one of her daughters, and said she hopes to get repairs started on her home soon.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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