July 18th, 2024

Community rallies for residents displaced by fires

By Lethbridge Herald on December 27, 2023.

A firefighter walks up a pathway after helping to battle a blaze Tuesday afternoon at three homes on Iroquois Crescent. It’s estimated about $2 million in damage was caused to the three structures. Herald photo by Al Beeber

Alejandra Pulido-Guzman – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – apulido@lethbridgeherald.com

Neighbours and members of the community as a whole have come together to support victims of the three-house fire on Boxing Day in any way they can. 

The Caldwell family, from “Christmas with the Caldwells” food and toy drive, live just around the corner from the homes that were ravaged by the fire on Iroquois Crescent and they immediately jumped into action to help in any way they could. 

Chandel and Vince Caldwell said Wednesday that thanks to their-already established network from their Christmas campaign, they were able to reach out to the community and ask for help through social media, which resulted in an immediate outpouring of questions about needed items.

They said they are not working with any organization – this is simply a matter of neighbours helping neighbours. 

“We decided to have our house at 126 Red Crow Blvd. to be a drop-off location for gift cards, for things like groceries, or the mall or Walmart or anything like that so we can give them immediately to those affected, our neighbours,” said Chandel. 

She said since they don’t have enough storage space to accommodate donations of clothing or other larger items, they partnered with Honkers Pub and Eatery located at 2808 5 Avenue North as a drop-off location. 

Through their social media, family members of those affected reached out asking for clothing items with the following specifications:

Three occupants from the house in the middle where the fire originated are in need of clothing for an elderly lady size small or medium for tops and pants and footwear size 9 wide.

Clothing is needed  for a middle aged male size L-XL for tops and pants and footwear size 9 and clothing for a young adult in his early 20’s, male size M-L and footwear size 9. 

Chandel said the other home’s residents were two seniors, male and female in their late 60s early 70s and their 45-year-old son. They are in need of pretty much everything. 

The third home affected by the fire was a group home for youth from McMan Youth, Family and Community Services association. 

Honkers Pub and Eatery will be accepting donations until Jan. 6 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. but they are closed Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. 

Vince Caldwell told the Herald that as much as they would like to have donations dropped off at their homes they just don’t have the space for them, but they want to be able to help them with more immediate assistance through gift cards. 

“Our big focus would be gift cards and the reason we say that is because whoever gets them will have the option to purchase what they need, because even though gently-used items are great, people have lost everything and it’s really overwhelming right now for them, so being able to purchase something for themselves would help them a lot,” said Vince. 

He said any help is appreciated because not everyone has the means to buy gift certificates and donations are the way they are able to help out which is why they partnered with Honkers Pub to give them a place to do just that. 

Chandel said the outpouring of support has been wonderful from people in the neighbourhood because everyone has been affected by the tragedy in one way or another. 

“We just want to help our neighbours and it’s so nice to see people that have dropped off things like literally taken their gifts that they’ve gotten from Christmas like $50 gift cards and donating them for our affected neighbours,” said Chandel.

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