Victim of house fire in rural Nova Scotia emerges from coma: relative

A Nova Scotia man who lost two great-grandchildren in a house fire that killed four youngsters on the weekend says the father of the blended family suffered smoke inhalation but has come out of an induced coma.

Ervin Olsen of Yarmouth says his granddaughter, Emma Kennedy, has stayed by her common-law partner's side in hospital in Yarmouth, N.S., since the fire raced through the couple's rural home in Pubnico Head, N.S., early Sunday.

Olsen says the father, who he identified as local fisherman Phil Prouty, came out of the coma late Monday and was speaking, but his prognosis remains unclear.

He identified his great-grandchildren as three-month-old Winston and four-year-old Jayla.

Olsen praised the Canadian Red Cross for offering help to his extended family, and he said they were grateful for at least two local fundraising efforts that have been established.

A relative in Newfoundland who has also launched a fundraising campaign says the children ranged in age from an infant to a seven-year-old and included a cousin who was at the home for a sleepover.