The Oneida Nation of the Thames is rallying around a family from southwestern Ontario who lost everything over the thanksgiving long weekend after a fire destroyed their home.
Joseph Antone, his wife, and four daughters were in Oneida this weekend to help with checkpoints set up at the community’s entrances. The checkpoints were set up on Friday after reports of online threats towards the nation.
Antone is a member of the nation but has lived in Windsor for the past 15 years.
Although the investigation is still in the preliminary stages, Windsor Fire and Rescue is considering the fire to be an accident.
Antone said he received a notification from their alarm company about the fire on Monday at 1:30 a.m.
By the time they got home, they had lost everything.
“Material things can be replaced but the problem is funds, the funds can’t be replaced,” Antone said.
Antone, who owns a caulking business, said everything was ruined by fire and water damge, including a stockpile of supplies to use while his business is slow during the winter months.
The family currently rents the home and Antone said his worry is where the family will live, given the rising cost of rent.
“Right now, Windsor’s market for housing is ridiculous and I was paying rent before the spike went up, and before I was paying less than $1,000, but now the same house is worth well over $1,500.”
They did not have renters insurance.
In the interim, the family is staying in a hotel.
People from the Oneida community have come together by donating money and supplies like clothing and furniture.
“This is what the community is in a nutshell; one hurts and they all come out and I am seeing it and feeling it, and we are thankful for it.”
A GoFundMe me page has been set up to help the family and people can send the money via e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org.