The mother of a child killed in a house fire west of Edmonton over the weekend says she is grateful for the support her family has received from people during a time of profound sadness.
“We’ve had a huge outpour of support and wanted to thank you all,” Shannon Dorward posted on Facebook on Monday night.
Dorward said Ryley, the youngest of her twins, was the boy who died at her rural home in Parkland County on Sunday afternoon.
“In the evening, around suppertime, our family experienced the scariest, most life-changing event anyone can,” she wrote. “We were cooking supper — boys playing — when the smoke alarm goes off. I went to wave smoke away when we noticed our playroom couch at the front of the house on fire.
“With flames growing and very little reaction time, we got Alyxander and Xxavier out and put them into the safety of the vehicle stat.”
But Dorward wrote that Ryley was nowhere to be found.
“By the time the other two were strapped in, the flames grew, exploding the window,” she wrote. “It is with the deepest sadness that we have to announce our baby didn’t make it out and unfortunately wasn’t able to be resuscitated once crews arrived.”
RCMP told Global News on Sunday that fire crews from Parkland County were called to Range Road 264, south of Highway 16, at about 5:50 p.m. They said a three-year-old’s body was found inside the home but that nobody else was injured. Police said they had not yet established what caused the fire.
Global News spoke to Kayla Rockwood on Monday. She said she is a friend of the family and started a GoFundMe page to help the family pay for Ryley’s funeral and other expenses.
Dorward described Ryley as a huge piece of her heart.
“Each boy has their own special bond with us, but anyone who met Ryley knew how silly, sweet and incredibly smart he was,” she wrote.
“We will miss you forever Ryley, but will never forget you/always honour you.”
Watch below: A toddler was found dead inside a rural home near Acheson in Parkland County Sunday night, after a house fire broke out at the acreage west of Edmonton. Sarah Komadina reports.
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