Fire victim receives support from residents in Wynyard and Elfros

People in Saskatchewan’s Wynyard and Elfros area are working together to help a man who lost everything in a fire.

Paul Botts home in Elfros burned down while he was on his way home from Yorkton on New Year’s Eve. A family friend called him just after midnight to inform him that his house was on fire.

“He didn’t believe me. I was like ‘Paul, go slow, just drive. But the fire department is there. Your house is on fire,’” Patty Melested-Chabot said.

On the night of the fire, Botts was able to stay at a motel, but that was only a short-term solution. Quickly, friends and the community came together to give him what he needed.

Botts is now staying at a house owned by Melested-Chabot, where everything inside has been donated by people from the community.

Melested-Chabot said within 24 hours the donations started pouring in.

“I put out a call to the community and said, ‘We need help. Paul lost everything,’” Melested-Chabot said.

The house that Botts lived in for about five years burned to the ground. His two dogs weren’t home during the blaze.

“All I got left is these two little guys,” Botts said.

He’s grateful for the community’s support.

“The people really helped me out around here, around Wynyard. I thank them very much,” he said.

Everything inside the house was destroyed, including keepsakes from his life with his late wife, Darlene, who died in October.

“He hung on to all his possessions and everything Darlene had, and now it’s all gone. It’s just unbelievable,” Melsted-Chabot said.

Botts said he’s now focused on moving forward and rebuilding, while knowing there is some good friends and a strong community by his side.

With files from Stefanie Davis.



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