Fam­ily of 10 home­less af­ter Moun­tain blaze

Red Cross found emer­gency shel­ter for eight kids, two adults — but only un­til Mon­day

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - NATALIE PAD­DON — With files from Ni­cole O’Reilly npad­don@thes­pec.com 905-526-2420 | @NatatTheSpec

A fam­ily of 10 is fran­ti­cally search­ing for a new place to call home af­ter be­ing forced out of their Moun­tain bun­ga­low by an elec­tri­cal fire.

Cindy Hart spent Fri­day af­ter­noon comb­ing through what re­mains of her fam­ily’s smoky be­long­ings and look­ing for a place to live af­ter a fire broke out in the base­ment of the home she rents on Dar­ling­ton Drive around 5 p.m. Thurs­day.

“I don’t even care if I (don’t) have fur­ni­ture, clothes, what­ever — it’s the house,” Hart told The Spec­ta­tor while tak­ing a break from clean­ing out the home.

“There’s eight kids, two adults, and to find a house within our bud­get that will ac­com­mo­date all of us, it’s so hard,” she said, chok­ing back tears.

The fam­ily — with kids rang­ing in age from two to 21 — had just fin­ished sup­per at their 172 Dar­ling­ton Dr. house, near Up­per Par­adise Road and Mo­hawk Road West, when Hart went to her bed­room to watch tele­vi­sion.

All of a sud­den, she said she no­ticed smoke com­ing out of the floor vent.

Hart told her hus­band she thought some­thing might be on fire in her daugh­ter’s room, so the two ven­tured down­stairs.

“He opened her door, and it’s en­gulfed in flames.”

The fam­ily rushed out of the house — some of the kids in their shorts, others in bare feet — and stood across the street while they watched the home in which they’ve lived for the last year and a half burn.

Fire­fight­ers were able to quickly ex­tin­guish the blaze, with­out much fire ex­ten­sion to the up­per floors, but smoke dam­age was sub­stan­tial through­out the home, said Hamil­ton fire spokesper­son Clau­dio Mostacci.

No one was in­jured in the fire, which caused $80,000 in dam­age.

The fam­ily’s guinea pig, Mr. Jinx, died in the fire, but they were able to get their pet snake and dog out alive.

The Cana­dian Red Cross has set the fam­ily up at the Court­yard by Mar­riott Ho­tel un­til Mon­day, but Hart said she does not know what they will do af­ter that.

They did not have con­tent in­sur­ance and don’t think they will be able to sal­vage much be­cause of the smoke dam­age.

A Go­FundMe ac­count has been set up by some­one who knows the fam­ily through the youth group at Peo­ples Church Hamil­ton, which is on Mo­hawk Road West.

“This fam­ily needs a help­ing hand,” the on­line sup­port cam­paign reads. “Ev­ery lit­tle bit you give will help greatly.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on how to help, visit go­fundme.com/fam­ily-of-10-home­less-af­ter­fire.

There’s eight kids, two adults, and to find a house within our bud­get that will ac­com­mo­date all of us, it’s so hard. CINDY HART HOUSE FIRE VIC­TIM

JOHN REN­NI­SON, THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR

Cindy Hart stands in a base­ment bed­room where four of her kids slept be­fore a fire started in the bed­room be­hind her Thurs­day night.

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