Fire victims turn to crowdfunding to replace destroyed belongings

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Crowdfunding fire victims halifax

HALIFAX – Tyler McCaig is starting off his school year differently than most: he is crowdfunding to replace items destroyed in a recent fire.

Right now, McCaig, who is studying print production at Nova Scotia Community College, NSCC, is trying to salvage whatever he can after a fire ripped through his Duncan Street apartment last Monday morning.

The blaze started in the boiler room, which is attached to McCaig’s bedroom.

He and his roommates managed to make it out unharmed, but smoke and water damage have ruined the majority of the roommates’ belongings.

“There’s a lot of smoke damage in our clothing and furniture. We can’t really put it in a new house [because of the] toxic fumes,” McCaig said.

He rummages through a pile of charred and destroyed belongings, picking out a “I love NY” t-shirt with scorch marks and the remnants of a laptop.

In the garage sit a sofa and a couple mattresses that are heavy with smoke. McCaig and his roommate Ian McInnis say the furniture isn’t usable anymore.

It isn’t much better on the main floor: a futon sits in the living room but there is so much smoke damage to it, it is headed to the dump.

There also sits a huge garbage bag filled with items to be thrown away.

“There’s a pillow, sleeping bags and jackets that are probably going to be tossed out,” McCaig said.

The severity of their situation and tight budgets saw the male roommates turn to the crowdfunding website IndieGoGo.

IndieGoGo allows people to create fundraising campaigns for a variety of causes. McCaig simply called his campaign “Help the Duncan Street Boys“.

The men, who did not have renter’s insurance, are currently living in a new apartment since their old one is uninhabitable. McCaig and McInnis say the money will be used to buy new mattresses, furniture, bedding and clothes for the roommates. Their goal is $500.

“We lost a lot of stuff and the best way to raise money in my opinion is stuff like this, which you can crowdfund,” McCaig said.

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