Fire survivor awakes from coma

The only survivor of an Alexandria house fire is out of a coma but doesn’t yet know his partner and three young children have died.

Martin Desjardins, 26, has been in the burn centre at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital since Aug. 12, after fire trapped the young family inside their Boundary Rd. East home.

“You can’t really just walk in and tell him he lost his family,” said Desjardins’ brother, Gaetan Legault, who’s 17.

“He was saying ‘hot, hot, hot’ in the coma.”

Investigators said the smoke alarm on the second floor of the house didn’t have a battery.

Desjardins made it out through a window with one of his sons, Maxime, who was taken to children’s hospital and later died.

A funeral was held Aug. 19 for Sarah Cholette, 22, nine-month-old Jacob, 19-month-old Maxime, and three-year-old Chloe.

The couple had plans to get married.

“Yesterday, he was yelling ‘Sarah, Maxime, Chloe,” said Legault, adding there’s a “big bruise” on the back of his head.

Doctors want Desjardins’ parents to break the news to him, but they’re not ready, Legault said.

“They don’t want to lie about it. (But) my dad doesn’t want to right now.”

But the good news is Desjardins is getting better each day.

“It’s a miracle how he’s healing so fast,” he said.

The community has rallied around the family.

The Giant Tiger store in Alexandria is collecting money and donating household items for Desjardins’ return home.

“We really appreciate what they’re doing. They’re really helping us,” said Legault.

“My brother’s a hero.”


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