UPDATED: GoFundMe page setup for Milford family

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Spike the lizard being cared for by vet; doing okay

MILFORD: A GoFundMe page has been setup for the Matheson family whose home was destroyed by fire on March 14. The fire claimed three of their families pets—a dog, cat, and a bunny, while a lizard survived.

Approximately 30 firefighters from Milford, Elmsdale, Shubenacadie, Lantz, Enfield, and Nine Mile River responded to the 10:30 a.m. 911 call. RCMP members from Enfield detachment and EHS also attended, as did a N.S. Power crew. None of the occupants, who had just moved in last October, were home at the time of the call.

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Milford Fire Chief Brad Munro said the initial call came in as smoke billowing from the eaves of the house.

“We arrived first on scene and stretched a line to the rear of the house,” said Munro. “There was heavy fire coming from the home. We started an attack from there and knocked the fire down.

“By the time we arrived, it was a full blown structure fire with fire coming out of the windows.”

As they did that, Lantz Fire began to arrive on scene and began an interior attack, he said.

Munro said the home is likely a write-off given the amount of and the type of damage that occurred.

“I would say the house is a write-off; there is a lot of damage to the trusses in the roof,” he said.

In the GoFundMe post, it’s noted that all of the belongings of the family were lost to fire, and smoke.

“Danny, and Marley are the type of people who will do anything for anyone so I thought perhaps there are people out there who would like to do something for them,” said the post. “We can not replace the loss of their beloved fur babies but we can try to help ease some of the financial burden.”

To donate, you can go to GoFundMe and search for “Matheson Family House Fire.” As of March 18, it has raised $1,430 of a $5,000 goal.

Firefighters from Elmsdale check over the outside of the home, taking photos as part of their investigation into its possible cause. (Healey photo)
A fire captain is seen watching their step as they exit the front door of the home in Milford after helping to battle it inside on March 14. Fire crews were called to the scene at about 10:30 a.m.  (Healey photo)

Despite the sad news of the three pets dying, there was a bit of good news for the family who were not identified. As crews continued to work at the scene, a rush of happiness was seen.

That came when Lantz Firefighter Mark Frizzell walked down the driveway and out onto Rennie Lane holding the family’s pet lizard in his hands. Family members came rushing near Frizzell with tears of what appeared to be happiness, mixed with sadness.

Enfield firefighter Anita Hamilton then prepared the department’s pet oxygen mask and put it on the lizard, which is six or seven-years-old. It received oxygen in the hands of a young girl in the back of the rescue vehicle from Enfield.

Spike the lizard was taken to a local veterinarian for care. According to a family member, the vet was concerned about him but were hoping a couple days with them giving him oxygen, fluids, and lots of heat will help.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Munro said.

MAIN PHOTO: The lizard is seen getting oxygen from the Enfield fire department’s pet oxygen mask as it’s held by a young girl, who appeared to be well-known to it and a family member. Three other family pets—a dog, a cat, and a buny, perished in the fire. (Healey photo)

Firefighters grab their safety tags at the manpower station as fire crews begin to pack up from the house fire in Milford on March 14. (Healey photo)