A St. Albert couple is doing their best to stay positive and carry on after they lost nearly everything in a house fire Wednesday night.

Cecile and Roland Nadeau were getting ready to go to bed when they noticed a fire had sparked in their garage.

“I was about to go to bed, and I could hear noise, I could hear all this noise,” Cecile said. “I didn’t know what was going on; I was worried somebody was breaking in.”

The couple’s neighbour described what he saw, as the fire engulfed that part of the home.

“All of a sudden I just saw a big orange flame just kind of jump up,” Chad Rein said.

Officials said firefighters were called to the home on 58 Dorchester Drive just before 9 p.m.

“First crews arrived, and they found a fully involved garage,” Investigator Les David Mroz said.

The couple managed to escape unscathed – as the blaze spread from the garage to the house.

Early investigation showed the fire was sparked by a space heater that had been left on in the garage – it’s estimated the blaze caused about $750,000 in damage.

Now, the Nadeau’s are left with little more than the clothes on their backs.

“Like, what I’m wearing now, except for my coat is not mine,” Cecile Nadeau said.

Regardless, they’re looking at the bright side.

“We have our family, we have seven grandchildren and another due any day,” Cecile said. “Life is good.”

“We could have had the grandchildren in the house, because they had just left,” Roland said.

The couple has also found support in their neighbours, who have offered up everything to help – from shelter to clothing.
“All of this block here,” Roland said. “They’re just amazing.”

For now, the couple is staying in a hotel – but they hope to rebuild in the same community.

“We’re going to look for a place to rent, and try and carry on,” Cecile said. “[We’ll] see what the insurance adjustors do for us, and life goes on.”

The couple is also planning to go ahead with a vacation that had been planned before the fire – luckily; their passports had been kept in a fire-proof safe, and have already been retrieved by firefighters.

With files from Bill Fortier