Angie Fougere and her brother Craig managed to flee the fires in Fort McMurray, but they couldn’t escape tragedy.
After making it out safely, their trucks – filled with the few precious belongings they managed to take with – were stolen in Saskatoon last weekend.
“It was like a punch in the gut, worst nightmare,” Fougere said.
When Saskatoon police initially reported the incident, they said the trucks – a blue Ford F150 and a grey Dodge Ram – belonged to a Fort McMurray couple.
Fougere had lived in the Alberta city seven years, her brother for six. After they found safety in Edmonton, they decided to meet with family in Ontario.
The two left Alberta last Saturday morning; around 8:30 p.m. on May 14, they stopped at the Country Inn and Suites in Saskatoon.
“Fetched some of the personal belongings from the truck that we would need just to have a quick shower and go to bed,” Fougere said.
The siblings went about grabbing food nearby and walking the dog; only heading back to the trucks around 10:30 p.m.
“I had that weird feeling come over me, like you have that sixth sense, but I just brushed it off – I really wish I didn’t now.”
The Fort McMurray woman got up around 6:30 a.m. to complete the long drive to Ontario.
“Went to walk the dog and as I came around the corner, our vehicles aren’t there,” she said.
At first, Fougere hoped the hotel had accidentally towed the trucks, but the fear they were stolen seeped in.
“There was a couple in Edmonton that had their Ford Focus stolen,” Fougere said, explaining the family was from Fort McMurray and baby photos were among the stolen items.
“Their vehicle was found, and there was nothing left – the people that took their vehicle took everything from them,” she said.
When Fougere spoke to hotel staff, she said the response was no tow; however, a blue Ford was seen leaving the lot some time at night.
A call was put to police and when Fougere went back to the now-empty parking spaces, she saw a screwdriver and a glove lying on the ground, surrounded by broken glass.
After giving statements, the sibling went about getting flights out to Ontario. It was at the hotel check-out Fougere learned more about the robbery.
“At 3:30 a.m., they took my vehicle and at 4:30 a.m., they came back and took my brothers,” she said, adding the suspects broke into the vehicle and drove away somehow.
Important documentation, tax forms and family photos were among the items taken; Fougere said suitcases of memorabilia and family heirlooms were also lost.
“That’s the ones that really get you, is when they take that stuff ; you can’t get it back, but everything else I can replace,” she said.
Donations the siblings received while in Edmonton were also stowed in the trucks; however, she said more has been offered since arriving in Brampton, Ont.
“There’s still good people out there,” she said.
Fougere said she was renting a home with her brother in Fort McMurray, and according to recent imaging of the area, it’s still standing.
While the Alberta and federal governments say re-entry into the burnt city could be as early as June 1, Fougere isn’t holding her breath.
“I still can’t believe I’m not allowed to go back,” she said.
As of Friday, the siblings hadn’t received an update from Saskatoon police on their investigation.
The trucks have yet to be found, and are described as a blue 2014 Ford F150 with Alberta license plate BND7795, and a grey 2011 Dodge Ram 1500 with Alberta license plate BKM0870.