SANDRA M STANWAY
Hawa Musa and her five children, Gabriella, 4, Belmaj, 7, Pito, 11, Jima, 18 and Onen, 20, are safe and warm at the Heritage Inn since losing everything to a house fire.
The Princess Place duplex fire was discovered just after 7 p.m. on Nov. 25.
The family managed to escape with the clothes on their backs.
They did not have contents insurance.
Musa said she had been sleeping in her room but went downstairs to watch TV when she heard the detector beep.
“When I went upstairs I saw the fire. After that I ran down the stairs,” she said.
She managed to wake up her oldest son, Onen, 20, who woke his siblings and got them to safety.
“I didn’t take anything,” she said.
Although safe and warm, Musa said she does still occasionally wake up in the middle of the night when she hears a noise.
In the meantime, the family needs pretty much everything from kitchen utensils and personal toiletries to clothing, kitchen items and school supplies.
The paperwork for most of the more important items such as personal documents is well underway.
As students of Christ the King and Holy Family Academy, the school has also reached out to families to help if they can.
Since word spread of the fire Dela Wandler, who has known the family for five years, has been busy collecting items for the family.
She said while there have been beds donated, there is a need for queen size bedding as well as bathroom items, towels, etc.
Anyone who would like to donate is asked to contact Wandler at 403-363-1158.
Cash, gift cards and cheques can be dropped off at Brooks and County Immigration Services (BCIS) at 500 Cassils Road or at Christ the King Academy at 440 1st Street West.
The family is looking for a home by January.
Brooks Fire Chief Kevin Swanson said the fire investigation is continuing but it does not appear to be suspicious.
The loss is estimated at about $100,000.