(Firefighters stationed at Fire Hall No. 4, Timberlea. Photographed August 16, 2015. Sarah Anderson, REPORTER. )
A Stone Creek resident got quite the surprise upon his return home Thursday.
James Lahey got a call from the RCMP Wednesday while in Banff with his girlfriend saying that it looked like there were signs of forced entry on his front door.
“So I kind of expected the worst, I thought maybe there were looters or who knows what,” said Lahey by phone Friday. “[Thursday] when we were just passing Edmonton I contacted the RCMP and they actually told me it was the Fire Department who entered my home to rest while they were fighting the fires.”
When he got home he found that his front door had been repaired and the firefighters had left him a note.
Here’s what the note said:
To the Homeowner of [blacked out address]
On the second night of the fire after going roughly 48 hours straight fighting fires, we took a break at 0400hrs when we felt we had control of the fire and without being able to leave the area we rested at your home.
We wanted you to know how grateful we are to have been able to rest in your home. For a brief time we were able to pause and shut out what was happening around us and enjoy some comfort.
Words cannot begin to express how important that rest was during that time period.
Rest assured we were respectful of your private areas.
If needed feel free to reach out and contact the fire department should you have any concerns.
With gratitude and appreciation,
A group of grateful firefighters
Lahey said he couldn’t even tell that the firefighters were in his house.
“To be quite honest when I spoke with the RCMP [officer] and he told me that the firefighters had entered my home to take a break, I kind of expected it to be kind of covered in ash and dirt and all sorts of stuff. I don’t know how they managed to keep it so clean but it looks great.”
The fire wiped out homes just a block away from his house and crews bulldozed garages on the other end of Lahey’s street to make a fire break.
According to Lahey the letter was signed by Edward Grainger, Firefighter / EMT.