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Late-night Nelson Street blaze in Kingston sends 2 to hospital, officials investigating

Young Kingston mother and her family loses everything in a house fire
27-year-old Jesslyn Darragh and her 4-year-old son Aaron escaped the flames in a basement fire - along with her mother, roommate, her brother and his pregnant girlfriend at 270 Nelson Street on Friday.

There is no obvious sign of a fire at 270 Nelson Street in Kingston’s midtown, but two people were taken to hospital and six members of a family are now displaced after a fire in the basement of the home.

“I got him [Aaron] out first. And my mom and roommate ran out behind us,” says Jesslyn Darragh, a tenant in the home.
Jesslyn Darragh and her son Aaron
Jesslyn Darragh and her son Aaron. Global News

Darragh, 27, and her four-year-old son Aaron escaped the flames — along with her mother Stacey Darragh, 48, roommate Tom Harper, 60, Darragh’s brother Jamie Darragh, 30, and his pregnant girlfriend Cassandra Knocks, 27.

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The family has rented the house for the last four years.

“He [Aaron] was sleeping on the coach,” says Darragh. “I had just gone down to my basement and I didn’t notice a thing was going on and I came upstairs.
“I’d just put him [Aaron] to bed. We’re all tucked into bed — and then all of a sudden the entire upstairs was filled with smoke.”

Kingston fire crews arrived just before 9 p.m. on Friday night and said they encountered heavy smoke and high heat in the basement utility room.

The entire room was engulfed in flames.

READ MORE: Kingston firefighters battle blaze on Division Street

The family has six small dogs and all of them were saved, but two cats died in the blaze.

“My brother’s cats passed away because they were trapped in the basement at the time, and I couldn’t get down there,” says Darragh.

The family of six are now homeless and the Red Cross has put the family in a local hotel and is covering the bill for the next three days.

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Darragh has now set up a GoFundMe page and by Sunday afternoon, just over $1,600 was raised — with a goal of $15,000.

“That will at least cover first months’ rent,” says Darragh, “at least if I can get a new home out of this — that is all I ask.”

Although the fire was contained to the basement, there is extensive smoke damage to the upper floors.

Credit: Jesslyn Garragh
Credit: Jesslyn Garragh. Credit: Jesslyn Garragh
Credit: Jesslyn Garragh
Credit: Jesslyn Garragh. Credit: Jesslyn Garragh

The family has lost everything and has no renters insurance.

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According to Kingston Fire and Rescue, the blaze is not considered suspicious and damage is estimated to be $100,000.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

With files from Kraig Krause