A family who’s had their house ransacked twice since it was destroyed by fire hopes others can learn from their experience. The Toulouse family’s Smith subdivision home is considered a total loss after the blaze in the early morning hours of August 13th. Before they had time to salvage what was left of their belongings, Tammy Toulouse says the family of four became victim to looters.
“The worst part about it is my daughter’s room is downstairs. She had the fire wall; I had cleaned it; I had her door shut; I could have salvaged a lot of stuff. They’ve just destroyed it; they pulled things out of her dresser; they stole her clothes that I could have maybe tried to wash.”
It’s believed the blaze was sparked by an electrical issue. Toulouse’s husband was home at the time and made it out safely. She never imagined someone could stoop as low as to rob a family who’s lost their home and hopes her experience can be a learning lesson for others. She says they need to fight with their insurance company to get security, and to clean out what’s salvageable as quickly as possible.
“I almost think coming to terms with the fire was okay. It was people going through my stuff… I feel more violated now than I did losing everything in the fire.”
The family of four and their three pets are now holed up in a one bedroom basement suite until they can find more suitable accommodations in Grande Prairie. Toulouse says they could also use help clearing out what’s left of their home. A friend has set up a GoFundMe fundraiser to help.