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‘She was Auntie K.’: Kayla Ferguson believed to be youngest victim of Ottawa explosion

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Nearly a week after a devastating explosion shook the capital and took the lives of six people, the families of the victims are still looking for answers.

“I just keep asking why, and how?” Maria Ferguson, the cousin of 26-year-old Kayla Ferguson, said.

A welder, Kayla Ferguson is believed to the be youngest victim of the blast, and the only woman, but to her family and friends, Kayla was always one of the guys.

“She loved being with men and she could do everything a man could do, if not better,” Maria said.

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Ferguson was a boxer, a powerlifter and a hunter.

“She was quiet, she was reserved. She was an old soul in a young body,” Maria continued.

Gentle and soft-spoken, Ferguson loved the outdoors, either behind the handlebars of an ATV in the mud, or skipping across fresh snow in a Ski-Doo.

“She would be jumping up and down and just so happy that there was snow on the ground so she could get out on her Ski-Doo,” Maria continued. “She’d be out ripping this weekend.”

A daughter and sister, Kayla was also the godmother to Maria’s three boys.

“She was Auntie K. From the minute they were born, she was there; once a week, every holiday, she would come and steal them from me and take them for nights and sleepovers and take them four-wheeling,” Maria said.

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The middle child in a family of five, Ferguson’s death is shaking her family.

“You don’t expect things like that and you don’t think it’s ever going to happen to you. She was the rock for a lot of people, she was definitely my personal journal, so it’s really hard,” Maria said.

On the fence outside Eastway Tank a small bouquet of flowers holds a picture of Kayla, dressed in full camouflage and smiling in the woods. It’s those moments that make her loss a little easier for her family.

“You know, she always lived her life to the fullest and she was happy when she went and she didn’t leave any stone left unturned that she wanted to turn. And I think that makes it a little bit easier,” Maria said.

“She was living her dream and she was happy,” she added.

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