This is the heartbreaking moment a family lost their home to the raging fire taking over Fort McMurray, Canada.
James O’Reilly watched his family’s home go up in flames by viewing the property’s security camera on his iPhone – and he’s shared the livestream online.
With winds of nearly 40mph, the wildfire – which is now said to be bigger than Greater London – has evacuated around 88,000 people from the city, SkyNews reports.
In O’Reilly’s video, smoke can be clearly seen taking over the house, just minutes after thousands of residents were ordered to evacuate the area.
And within seconds, the levels of visibility came down to almost nothing as flames and smoke broke through the family’s living room window.
So far, some 1,600 homes have been lost. Thankfully, no deaths or injuries have been reported, but the fire is set to become Canada’s costliest ever natural disaster.
Canadians authorities have said they expect to battle the fire for months to come and fear it could double in size, and even cross into the neighboring province of Saskatchewan, the Associated Press reports.
The cause of the wildfire is yet to be determined, but officials say it could have been sparked by a discarded cigarette or a camp fire that went wrong. Natural causes such as lightening are also being considered.
There is also a high threat the fire could double in size, according to Chad Morrison, a senior Alberta fire official, who spoke to CNN.
And with an area of more than 700 square miles already covered in wildfire, it would be completely devastating for the disaster to grow larger than it already is.
The fire is affecting everyone, and on Sunday, Nick Waddington from the town’s Fire Department, paid tribute to the efforts from his firemen – some of who have also lost their homes, The Mirror reports.
He said: “We had one member stand at the end of his driveway, watch his house burn to the ground and put in an 18-hour shift.”
Absolutely devastating. Our thoughts are with all of the firemen, residents, and the O’Reilly family.