05/09/2016 10:46 EDT | Updated 05/10/2017 01:12 EDT

Fundraising underway for oil field worker whose Cape Breton home burned down

Fundraising efforts are underway for a man who fled the widlfires in Alberta only to find that his Cape Breton home had burned down.

Norm MacDonald says his brother Bruce, who works as an oil field labourer in Fort McMurray, was making his way home and was in Toronto on Friday when he was told that his Cape North, N.S., house was destroyed by a fire.

He says his brother's 20-year-old son was home at the time of Thursday's blaze and made it out safely.

MacDonald says he and his wife Cindy started a GoFundMe page to help out and are "overwhelmed" with the response with more than $16,000 pledged since the weekend.

He says the money will be used to help with the family's necessities until their insurance kicks in.

MacDonald says his brother is back in Cape Breton and is staying with his family in temporary lodgings.