Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gratitude in the face of disaster - Kind words lift spirits of Calgary firefighters

Bowness Clean up
Calgary firefighters assist with residential flood clean up

I was on a call investigating a building at 140, 25th Ave SW this evening. The owner was in a very hard hit area.  An old home with five units, built in 1912.  The owner, along with many friends and volunteers (many of whom he did not know), had gotten right the work required in order to ensure the best result possible.

They carried out all of the water logged furniture and household items, pumped out the basement, shoveled out all  the mud, washed it down, pulled all of the wet drywall, only to find that the aged foundation had actually had actually eroded away. The entire house was sitting on a crumbling foundation which in places was less than one inch thick. The house had to be abandoned with the very real prospect that the home would be need to be torn down due to safety concerns. At the least, major work would be required at a huge cost in order to ensure the building's survival. The owner was stoic, patient and somewhat accepting of his fate. We left the call feeling that an engineering report would be the final nail in the coffin for this man and his old house.

As we walked by his front door facing 25 Ave, I read the following poster which had been written by the owner for all to see. It read:

“This morning I was overwhelmed with disaster. 

-Now, I am overwhelmed with the kindness of the community.

Thank You Calgary."

submitted by Fire Lieutenant, Vernon McNeice