St. Lazare family deluged with support after weekend house fire

A St. Lazare family that lost everything in a weekend house fire says they've been overwhelmed by the support they've received since.

Early on Friday evening, Hannah Cracower-Kornafel was at home, preparing to head out to a local gym teach a zumba class. She noticed the home was warmer than usual — and then she heard her living room window blow in.

She believes the fire may have started with a high-efficiency fireplace.

"The firemen said the fire was probably already in between the floors, the walls and the ceiling when I was in the house, so I was lucky that the ceiling didn't collapse while I was in the house," Cracower-Kornafel told CJAD 800's Natasha Hall on Monday.

All four members of the family — Cracower-Kornafel, her husband Mark, and their two daughters — are safe, though they had to be treated for smoke inhalation in hospital. Cracower-Kornafel managed to escape with their dog, but the family left their 15-year-old cat Magic behind, and spent the night believing they would never see her again.

Miraculously, however, Magic was found alive inside the burned-out house the next day. She had somehow crawled to the middle of a mattress and survived. Despite being caked in soot when she was found, the family says Magic took a bath and is just fine.

Bu the family lost everything else in the house.

Since the fire, the family says the community has done a fantastic job of rallying around them. A GoFundMe page sest up by a family friend to raise money as the family waits for insurance money has raised $10,000 in the past two days.

"The community has just been incredibly supportive," says Mark Kornafel. "We received $200 from neighbors that moved away two years ago. They live in Virginia now."

"The messages, phone calls, emails...we have to charge our phone, like, four, five times a day because we just can't keep up with everything," Cracower-Kornafel added. "We just want you all to know that we hear you. We appreciate it and we love you all. God bless."