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Self-Storage Owner, Community Aid Homeless Man and His Dog


The owner of Aldergrove Mini Storage, a self-storage facility in Aldergrove, British Columbia, Canada, and other community members recently came to the aid of a man whose live-in camper was destroyed in a fire while it was parked at the storage property.

The camper’s owner, Greg Laing, had stepped away briefly to help someone at the storage facility when Laing’s 12-year-old dog Jasper knocked over a burning candle and set fire to some curtains, investigators said. Laing lost all his possessions inside the camper but managed to save his dog from harm. Firefighters were able to save Laing’s pickup truck, which was attached to the camper, although the vehicle’s back window blew out from the heat.

Jack Dhaliwal, the owner of the storage facility, had allowed Laing to park on the property while he looked for work. After the fire, Dhaliwal opened a heated storage unit for the man and his dog to stay in when none of the hotels available through temporary shelter assistance would allow dogs.

"Greg was trying to get work on a farm but had no place to go in the meantime, so I said he could stay,” Dhaliwal said. “He's a really good guy."

Laing, who had no insurance, also ingratiated himself to other community members, including truck drivers from the neighboring MHL Transport and the firefighters who responded to the call. The truckers and firefighters worked together to reach out to the community and local businesses for assistance and raised enough money to purchase a $1,000 camper to replace the home he lost.

Local retailers donated groceries, dog food and other items to stock the camper. Firefighters also replaced a bicycle Laing lost in the fire and paid for a new rear window for his truck.


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