Saskatoon family that lost precious heirlooms and puppy in garage fire now faces eviction

A Saskatoon family that lost their dog and precious Indigenous heirlooms in a February garage fire has until the end of the month to move out.

Jake Tyner had noticed the garage of their home, in the Confederation neighborhood, was full of smoke, he told CTV News on Sunday.

He tried to save the family's 10-month-old German Shepherd-Husky, Luka, but couldn’t find him in the smoke.

“Being an Indigenous person our dogs are like our protectors of our family.”

Tyner and his fiancée Tala Tootoosis lost more: golden eagle feathers passed down from Tyner’s parents, expensive beads, a staff and other family heirlooms passed down for generations. Also destroyed were a few bikes, a lawnmower, a deep freezer and fishing poles.

He was able to salvage his drum from the wreckage.

“My family gave me things so I could carry on and perpetuate our ceremonial way of life,” said Tyner. “Those are kind of the most important things to us because those are the instruments that we use.

“What I lost was would be pretty close to losing a family member.”

A GoFundMe has been started for the family to help with costs associated with the fire.

The couple now has a new obstacle after being served an eviction notice on April 30. They have to be out of the Cartier Crescent home by the end of May.

In a statement to CTV News the landlord of the house said: “Due to the unfortunate circumstances, the damage is excessive and will require extensive construction that will result in an unsafe environment for our tenants.”

“Trying to find a place with a basement and a backyard with a garage, you know we have children,” said Tootoosis. “It’s really scary with everything we’ve been through.”

Tootoosis says some of the new rental spaces they have looked into are receiving more than 800 applications.