Lara Ryan’s eyes well up with tears as she talks about the baby pictures and other irreplaceable belongings her family had to leave behind in their Fergusons Cove home, which was destroyed in last week’s forest fire.

“It’s tough … it’s our home and we loved it,” she said Friday, her voice cracking as she and her husband spoke with reporters at the Captain William Spry Community Centre in Spryfield.

Brett Ryan, a local musician who lost a grand piano and several guitars in the fire, said he’s just relieved everyone escaped 14 Fortress Drive with their lives.

 

“If anything, we walk away from this just being extremely grateful that we’ve got our family here,” he said. The couple has three children, who Brett said are taking the shock in stride, as well as a dog and a couple of pet rats.

They returned to see what little was left of their house Friday, which Brett said did “provide a bit of closure.” But he added it’s time for his family to rebuild their lives.

Although some angry residents told the media they should have been alerted about the fire sooner, the Ryans said they were impressed with the response of emergency services. They’re now staying with Brett’s parents in Fairview.

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