LAKE PAUL - A local couple needs all the help they can get as they attempt to bounce back from one heartbreaking event after another.
Gary and Cheryl Anthony were on their way to Halifax to visit a relative recovering from a severe heart attack and stroke Nov. 21 when they received word that their home on Aylesford Road in Lake Paul was engulfed in flames.
The fire, reported by a passerby at 2:39 p.m. that day, claimed the life of one of their dogs and rendered their historic home, a well-known landmark in the area commonly known as the old Church estate, beyond repair.
“There’s nothing left to it. The roof was right in the basement apparently. It’s just absolutely destroyed,” said George Barkhouse, a brother to Cheryl.
The devastation did not end there.
Barkhouse said his sister suffered a serious heart attack in the stressful days that followed the fire, and she is now in intensive care in Halifax recovering from surgery.
“She lost everything. The only she had was what she was wearing – her and her husband both,” he said.
“They have nothing.”
Barkhouse intends to do what he can to change that.
“Cheryl’s always the first one to help anybody else out and this time she needs help,” he said, noting that Cheryl worked for Fox Mountain Camping Park for a many years, and Gary was badly injured in a severe workplace accident a number of years ago.
Barkhouse launched an online GoFundMe fundraising campaign called “House Fire – Everything Lost!” Nov. 24. As of noon Nov. 29, the page had collected $1,670 toward a $5,000 goal.
“It is not just the large items that need replacing, but even most essential immediate things that we take for granted in our day to day lives: clothing, food, toiletries, etc,” the campaign’s description reads.
Barkhouse hopes the donation drive will help alleviate some stress so the couple can focus on Cheryl’s recovery.
To learn how to donate household items or clothing, contact Barkhouse at 1-902-835-9198. Make a monetary donation through GoFundMe here: https://www.gofundme.com/qmkcb6-house-fire-everything-lost