Orillia resident Kyla McCabe is reeling after losing “everything” in an apartment fire.
At about 3 a.m., Sunday, McCabe returned to her Laclie Street apartment to find it engulfed in flames.
“My girlfriend and I were only gone for a couple of hours,” she explained. “When we got back, and I unlocked my door I couldn’t even see in front of my face.”
McCabe, 32, says she went into shock and her adrenaline took over. She ran into the smoke and fire to find her two dogs laying belly to belly with their arms draped over each other.
“They were lifeless,” she said. “I dropped my bag to see if there was anything I could do but they were stiff.”
McCabe ran back and forth from the burning apartment while laying her pets in the front yard.
“I ran back in to find my two cats, but they were also dead,” she said. “I was just screaming in the front yard.”
Finding her beloved pets dead in the fire was the most "crippling" experience of McCabe’s life.
“I felt like my whole life was over,” she said. “Without them, I have nothing left.”
McCabe says it scares her to think about how her pets felt when they were trapped, and it breaks her heart that she wasn’t there for them.
“My mom passed away when I was 14,” she explained. “One of my dogs was 17 and I had her in my life longer than I had my mother.”
Not only did McCabe lose her pets in the blaze, but she also lost her mother’s keepsakes.
“I was just getting frames for everything and was going to hang them in my apartment,” she explained. “Now there are only ashes left.”
The Twin Lakes Secondary School graduate says it appears an electrical short in a toaster caused the fire.
As a result of blaze, McCabe has no possessions except the clothes she was wearing on Sunday morning. McCabe did not have tenants insurance and is temporarily staying with a friend in Orillia.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help her purchase new clothes, toiletries, bedding, food, etc.
“They said I can move back into my apartment when it’s fixed in four to six months,” she explained. “I don’t want to be going back there, it’s not safe.”
If you would like to drop off non-perishable food or women’s medium or large clothing to McCabe, it would be much appreciated. She can be reached by email at [email protected].