PORT SYDNEY, ONT. -- A Port Sydney couple is thankful after getting out of their burning home just in the nick time.

The fire broke out at Dave and Patricia Anta's home on South Mary Lake Road just after 1:00 a.m. Sunday.

Dave smelled smoke just before bedtime.

"We were out of the house in 15 to 20 seconds, and we just made it out. My wife got out first, and I just looked behind me, and the whole house was falling in behind me."

Dave says the fire alarm did go off seconds after he noticed the smoke.

"I looked out the window, and I knew there was nothing I could do. We just had to get out of the house".

Two of the Anta's four pets—two cats—died in the fire.

"I knew if I went back in, I wouldn't come back out. It was so fast. There was black smoke just rolling through the air. I had to duck so I could breathe and just ran out of the house," Dave Anta says.

The couple is feeling thankful for their luck in an unlucky situation.

Dave Anta says strangers have stopped by to offer money and food. The couple will stay in a neighbour's basement for the time being.

The Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department spent five hours fighting the flames overnight. Crews were back at the house into Sunday afternoon putting out hot spots.

Damage is estimated at $400,000. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.