For Kelsey Bulmer and her two roommates, her life changed in the matter of mere seconds after losing everything in a house fire.
“It was horrific. I think it’s the worst thing anyone wants to show up to,” said Bulmer.
At around 10 p.m., on Friday, Jan. 6, crews were called to a home on Brock Street East., near downtown Oshawa, Ont.
“From the outside it didn’t look as if it was going to be that bad, so I was hopeful,” said Bulmer. “But going in there looks like a movie. There’s nothing recoverable at all.’
The tragic fire leaves three tenants without a home, and dealing with the loss of their beloved service dog, Lacey.
Chief of Oshawa Fire Service Derrick Clark said crews worked hard to revive the dog at the scene, using oxygen and performing CPR, but unfortunately she succumbed to her injuries.
“The fire doesn’t have any filter on who it takes, it’ll take anyone in it’s path,” said Chief Clark. “That’s why we want everyone to get out as fast as possible.”
Bulmer, Ari Buttenham and Eric Weir have been living in the home for roughly three years. The most upsetting part, they say, is not having justice for Lacey.
Eric Weir was sleeping upstairs when the house fire broke out. “I remember waking up, jumping out of bed and taking 10 seconds and looking through black, thick smoke to collect myself,” said Weird. “I froze for a little bit there.”
Weir ended up running back inside to get Lacey, and was later taken to hospital with minor smoke inhalation. He said he wanted to save what they couldn’t replace.
“I lost everything, my clothes — everything,” said Weir. “Everything can be replaced. But to lose an extension of your life…you can’t replace that.”
Ari Buttenham said the three have been working to process what happened, but they need answers on why and how.
“You never expect things like this to happen to you,” he said. “The panic, the commotion and the devastation of what’s going on.”
Devastation that, according to the tenants, could have been avoided, especially after claims of feeling unsafe in the home.
“For the course of six months, with documentation, I’ve been complaining about my roof leaking through, completely destroying my furniture, and multiple other issues in the home,” said Bulmer.
She said on multiple occasions they had reached out to their landlord to complain about feeling safe.
Bulmer shows photos of water leaking through light fixtures, and Buttenham claims to have smelled burning from the upstairs kitchen area over the span of the past few weeks, but they received little communication back from their landlord, and they claim that no changes were made.
Buttenham says they now have to deal with the worst possible scenario.
The tenants say they also want to make sure this never happens to anyone again, and landlords need to be held to a standard of proper fire escape routes, one which Eric did not have at the time of the fire, and working smoke alarms.
“A lot of my friends who live in this area have complained about leaks and no proper fire alarms or escape routes,” said Bulmer.
The tenants have since teamed up with a lawyer to pursue legal action into what caused the fire, and the issues they allege were present before it happened.
Global News reached out to the landlord of the home, but did not receive a response.
Meanwhile, GoFundMe campaigns have been started to help the tenants by their friends and family.