He and his partner Gina Doucette had fallen asleep on the couches, nestled with their two Boston terriers, hours earlier.
“I opened up my eyes and it was still dark and I was disoriented, he said.
“My eyes started burning and then I realized it was smoke.”
As the smoke alarm continued its piercing scream, Deveau jumped up and got Doucette out of the house, snatching some footwear by the door and winter jackets.
Then he returned to grab the dogs, Abby and Bella. Sir Kitty was already hanging out by the door.
“He’s the smartest one of the bunch. He knew something was up,” said Deveau.
The rabbits were the last ones rescued. One escaped from his arms and ended up with some singed fur but was otherwise okay.
Although the couple didn’t see any flames, just lots of smoke, within 15 minutes of their escape the exterior of their home on the John Doucette Road in Mavillette, was engulfed. Salmon River and Meteghan fire departments responded but the building could not be saved.
Flames spread to the carport roof, which soon crashed onto their Cobalt SS. The gas tank blew up within minutes.
They saved themselves and their pets, but it’s a new beginning for the couple.
“Everything we own in life is gone,” said Deveau.
He’s extremely thankful for the smoke detectors.
“If there’s anything I tell everybody it’s smoke detectors might be annoying if you tend to burn your supper but believe me, they can save your lives,” he said.
He’s also grateful for where he and Doucette fell asleep, otherwise they wouldn’t even have the clothes on their backs or may not have awoken.
Within a day of their misfortune, relief efforts were already underway.
“Small communities, because we work a lot, we don’t see people all that often. Then when things like this happen it’s nice to see people stepping up,” said Deveau.
“We didn’t even know Shawna Comeau had put a post up (on Facebook) and people were dropping things off at her Wee Doggy Day Care. A big shout out to her and Tina LeBlanc.
“They handled everything because we’re still under so much stress, we’re still not even level-headed from it all,” he said.
For now, they are staying with relatives but hope to find a rental. The house was insured but irreplaceable belongings were lost.
How you can help
Clothing is required, sizes as follows
Jeans waist 34, inseam 34
T-shirts or sweaters X-large sneakers size 11 (he doesn't have anything except his work boots right now)
Boxer shorts large
Summer shorts large or waist 34
Socks men's white size 9-11
Summer jackets size large or X-large
Summer shorts size small or medium or waist 25 or 26
Socks women's white ankle size 7-11
T-shirts size small
Jeans waist size 25 or 26 inseam of 30
Flip-flops size 6
Summer jackets size medium
2 Boston terriers (Abby and Bella)
Metal water dish, adjustable dog collar and toys
2 house bunnies: pellets
1 housecat: toys
Listerine, toothpaste, bodywash or soap, shampoo & conditioner, facecloths and towels, q-tips and hair dryer
Gift cards from Sobeys, Superstore, Walmart, Pet Value in Yarmouth, or any pharmacy are also greatly appreciated.
Items can be dropped off at the Wee Doggie Daycare at 8931 Hwy 1 in Meteghan River. Items can be left in the hatch of the white jeep usually parked in the front. If the jeep is not there, items can
be left outside in the front of the building by door. Shawna (owner) or her father (owner) will pick them up and ensure they are delivered. Doggie daycare doors are always locked for the safety of the dogs. For etransfers: Keith Deveau’s email is: firstname.lastname@example.org