Family puts lives back together after house fire
The Expositor
 

Gabe and Tom Drewery are slowly putting their lives back together following a fire Aug. 20 that damaged their home on Ludlow Crescent.

Gabe was inside the home late in the afternoon when the family’s dog, Colt, began barking, and she could hear someone yelling outside.

“I had come down the stairs, opened the garage door and a wall of fire hit me,” she recalled. “I slammed it shut and ran out the front door.”

She said her husband had been watering flowers in the front yard when the fire broke out.

“He’s deaf, and the people across the street were yelling at him but he didn’t even hear them,” she said. “Somebody had to physically come up and poke him.”

Standing on the front lawn, she could see flames shooting out of the garage and spotted her husband in front of a neighbour’s home.

While another dog was able to get out of the home, firefighters managed to locate and rescue, Colt, from the burning house.

Gabe credits the dog’s barking for helping her safely get out of the house.

“We now call him our miracle dog,” she told reporters after the fire.

“I do believe if he hadn’t been there barking constantly, I wouldn’t have noticed it … and might not have made it out.”

The couple lost everything in the fire except for a few photo albums and china that were recovered.

“We have no clothes, no nothing,” Gabe said. “But we’ve had a lot of donations. People have been really generous.”

Particularly troubling for Tom was the loss of his classic car parked in the garage.

“He’s grieving,” Gabe said. “He had that car before he met me. It was a 1967 model, and we’ve been married 37 years this year.”

The Drewerys have been staying with their daughter, Stephanie Dinsmore, who started a Facebook fundraiser to help with basic necessities while sorting out things with the insurance company.

On Tuesday, the couple will be moving into a rental house.

“We’ll probably be there for a year, until our house gets rebuilt on Ludlow,” Gabe said. “That’s the plan. We want to go back.”

Brantford Fire Chief Todd Binkley said the fire was caused by an electrical issue in the garage area.

“We’re still working with the owner on the damage estimate, however, the preliminary estimate is over $400,000.”

As of Monday afternoon the Drewery House Fire fundraiser on Facebook had raised $9,271 of a $10,000 goal. Anyone wishing to contribute can do so by visiting www.facebook.com/donate/952041685312436/

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