Community finds new home for fire victim and dog
An Aldergrove man who lost his home in a fire earlier this week says he’s overwhelmed by the generosity and support he’s received from the community.
Greg Laing told CTV News he fell on hard times in recent years and, unable to find work, has been living out of a camper with his dog, Jasper.
On Wednesday night, after Laing had briefly stepped outside, the 12-year-old dog knocked over a candle and set the camper’s curtains on fire.
When Laing saw his home in flames he ran over to check on his dog, but couldn’t see him through the smoke.
“I called him and he wasn’t coming. [He] didn’t want to come, so I had to grab him and lift him down,” Laing said.
He managed to rescue his dog, but all of Laing’s possessions were destroyed, including pictures and a supply of food someone had recently given him.
With nowhere to go, Laing was offered a free temporary accommodation. He turned it down, however, because Jasper wasn’t allowed to come along.
“We get separation anxiety, both of us,” Laing said.
That’s when the Aldergrove Fire Department stepped in to play Santa Claus.
On Saturday, firefighters delivered a new camper for Laing to stay in and, using their own money and money raised through the community, filled it with groceries. They even threw in a new bike.
“Extra Foods was very kind. They gave us a $100 gift card,” firefighter Jamie Shaw said. “The businesses in Aldergrove, a lot of them have been really helpful.”
Laing said he was overwhelmed by the experience, but was able to thank the firefighters and community for rallying together to help him through a difficult time.
“Thank you, thank you very much,” he said. “Merry Christmas.”
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Michele Brunoro