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Emotional video of toddler seeing Paddle Prairie home destroyed by wildfire shared online

The vice-chair of the Paddle Prairie Métis Settlement has shared an emotional video of her family returning home after the Chuckegg Creek wildfire destroyed their house.

Lori Wanuch shared the video on Facebook on Thursday, June 20.

“Our family home is gone,” she wrote. “Everything that we had left of our parents is in the ashes. Our family will remain strong to support one another because we are all we’ve got.

“Our parents raised us strong and always taught us to be there for one another no matter what.”

The video shows several adults and a little girl pull up to where their home used to be.

READ MORE: Northern Alberta wildfire destroys at least 11 homes in Paddle Prairie, 80 at risk

As they survey the damage, one woman can be heard crying.

A man carries the little girl closer to the property with tears in his eyes.

She looks at the charred property and then back to him.

“The house is broken,” she says quietly, and he kisses her on the cheek.

“It’s OK,” the little girl adds. “We’re going to find another one, OK?”

As of Monday afternoon, the video had been viewed nearly 20,000 times and shared close to 400 times.

Wanuch said while the day was certainly emotional, sweet little Jayda Ray made it so much easier.

READ MORE: Tough return for Paddle Prairie Métis Settlement after Alberta wildfire: ‘It hurts to see’

More than 700 Paddle Prairie residents were forced to flee the area at the end of May when an evacuation order was issued due to the fast-moving Chuckegg Creek fire.

Sixteen homes were destroyed and about 15 more were damaged by flames and smoke.

Residents were allowed to return home more than three weeks later.

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