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Miranda Irving lost almost everything she owned.
The fire destroyed all of her clothes, even her winter jacket. Her partner, Patrick Allen, lost everything as well.
The couple were among five people left homeless after a blaze damaged three rooms at an old roadside motel in Brookfield, just outside Truro, in the early morning hours of March 13.
The motel was their last resort. They couldn’t find anywhere else to live. The other two rooms were also being rented on a long-term basis, according to the Red Cross.
The pair are desperate. Irving pleaded for help on her Facebook account March 13, saying: “We are in need of a place to go. … I work full time at the Tim Hortons in Brookfield and can provide references and proof of income.
“I am looking for ANYTHING,” she said. “(A) 1 bedroom, 6 bedroom, even if somebody had a camper they may be willing to part with for a reasonable price. I would like to stay in the community if we can, you have all been so welcoming so far.”
Since the fire, the couple have been scrambling to find shelter. They wound up at a hotel in Bridgewater, almost a two-hour drive from where she works.
The situation is more difficult because they have pets: a cat and a dog. The animals were the only things they were able to get out of the fire.
They’re grateful for the help they have gotten. After the blaze, the Red Cross put them up in a hotel for three nights and gave them winter coats and a gift card for three days worth of food.
The couple ended up paying for another night at the hotel while they scoured the internet looking for a place to go.
“Nobody even looks at us because we have the dog and the cat,” Irving said. “We’re even considering buying a trailer. But where would we put it?”
Their first plan was to stay at a Dartmouth motel, but that fell through after they found out at the last minute that guests are only allowed one pet.
The couple say they are not looking for handouts, just a place where they can live with their pets and that’s reasonably close to where Irving works.
“I’m embarrassed to come out and ask like this, but we’re just doing our best,” Irving said.
Allen said he has a job lined up working as a deckhand when lobster season starts in the spring.
It hasn’t been an easy year.
They had been living in Musquodoboit Harbour but ran into problems with their landlord. In February, the water pipes in their unit froze and their landlord refused to fix the problem, Irving said, so they packed up and headed to Truro. They made a stop at the Brookfield Tim Hortons and Irving put in her application. Two days later, she was hired.
She wants to keep working but the trek from Bridgewater to Brookfield – one hour and 40 minutes – doesn’t make sense. The couple owns a 2007 Dodge Dokota truck.
Irving said the hotel where they’re staying has been more than accommodating and has offered them a monthly rate. But at $1,700 a month, it is not cheap.
In the meantime, Truro Housing Outreach Society is trying to help the couple find a home, and they keep looking themselves.
“We’re just really hoping we can find a place by the end of the month,” Irving said.
If anyone can help the couple find an apartment, Irving asks that they reach out by email to [email protected]