Miminegash homeowner credits son with saving his life

Eric McCarthy
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Terry Gallant says screams from his son in the basement alerted him to a fire that destroyed his home

MIMINEGASH - Adam Gallant was less than a week away Tuesday night from moving to nearby Tignish from his father’s home in Miminegash.

Working on a computer in the basement around 9:30 p.m., he heard strange noises upstairs. Even before he scaled the steps he realized the 38 year-old house was on fire.

He figures he yelled for his father, Terry, 15 to 20 times before he got to the top of the stairs.

His father, who had fallen asleep in the living room, tired from an evening of hand-lining for mackerel, only heard a couple of his shouts and was on his feet when Adam reached the main level.

Terry Gallant jumped up thinking he could get the fire out but realized it was already too far advanced. They escaped with the family dog and were able to force open the door to the attached garage to get their vehicles out.

The provincial fire marshal’s office investigated and has ruled the fire accidental. The cause has been attributed to combustibles on or near the stovetop.

“I’m lucky (Adam) was home or I wouldn’t have gotten out of here,” Terry said Wednesday morning as he watched Miminegash firefighters search out hot spots.

The fire caused extensive damage to the house. A flare-up, reported shortly after 6 a.m. Wednesday, pretty well finished it off.

“It all happened so fast,” said the owner who was waiting to discuss his loss with his insurer.

Terry Gallant and his sons were able to salvage some personal belongings, including photos and some clothing after the initial fire. Miminegash called in Tignish and Alberton fire departments for back-up on the initial call but tended to the flare-up on its own.

The homeowner will take up temporary residence in his camper and Adam, who had planned to move to Tignish next Monday, will re-locate immediately.

The Gallants, who are getting ready for the opening of the fall lobster fishery, are anxious to get power restored to their shop where supplies, including frozen bait for the lobster fishery, are stored. Electrical service to the house had supplied the shop.

“Life doesn’t stop. You still have to make a livelihood,” said Adam of the need to continue on.

“It could always be worse,” he added. “It’s a terrible thing, but we’re both out safe.”

Geographic location: Miminegash, Tignish

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