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My brother is homeless!!

September 10th, 2005, 10:14 AM
Last night, his neighbor stumbled home drunk and then fell asleep around 1 AM and a few minutes later, my brother's girlfriend and 2 pitties woke him up. The four of them went into the hallway and thought about going into the apartment that started the fire, but there was a lot of smoke coming out from under the door, so they decided it was too late.

By the time they got outside, there were 12 foot flames coming out of the windows.

Firefighters were slow to arrive (over 45 minutes) and the neighboring building got engulfed as well.

60 people are homeless. My brother and his girlfriend lost everything but his doggies. :( :(

Rick C
September 10th, 2005, 10:38 AM
A 45 minute response time to an apartment fire is pretty ridiculous.

Glad to hear everyone got out though . . . .

Rick C

September 10th, 2005, 11:19 AM
Actually, the neighbor who started the fire died. I'm glad my brother's girlfriend doesn't sleep as hard as he does!.
I'm going to go to Costco and get him some basics (socks, underwear, a sweater and toiletries...). I have so little money right now because changing the roof here costed way more than we anticipated but I have a roof so I have to do what I can...

September 10th, 2005, 03:34 PM
Prin,I am so sorry to hear that,he and his girlfriend and doggies are alive,young and strong and I am sure they'll just start over,not easy I am sure,but they'll be ok :love:
Also,fire-fighters taking 45 min,that's crazy... :evil:

September 10th, 2005, 04:01 PM
I just spent my last $200 on stuff for him. He was describing it- the dogs were scratching and crying at the door, which woke up his girlfriend. Thank heavens for pitties, right? They made it out without even SHOES!

He watched as the neighbor's apartment was full of flames and then there was a glow in the hall window, then his livingroom window, then his bedroom window and the firefighters weren't even there yet. He was telling me how helpless he felt.

I went to see the place on my way home from my dad's and it's horrible! It's just a facade with burned up blinds in it. :( Through my brother's windows, you see sky. It really hit me then that my brother's home, and all his stuff is all gone. I feel so bad for him. :(

Everybody keeps telling him to bring the dogs to the SPCA. Can you believe that? They saved his and his girlfriend's life and people want them to get rid of them so it would be easier to find another apartment and be less of a burden to start over. :eek: :mad: They're his babies! His saviours. What the hey. :mad:

I don't even think the gravity of it has hit him yet. It's so sad. We were constantly ready for a fire in our old apartment because we had a restaurant downstairs. I was so worried for 4 years that this would happen to us, and now it happened to my brother. :(

September 10th, 2005, 05:38 PM
At least he is all right!

Does he have somewhere to stay in the meantime?

September 10th, 2005, 05:56 PM
From the Katrina disaster I know that if I had my pets nothing material would matter, not even family photos as my family could replace most of those.

Hopefully your brother's family can get their life back on track quickly and realize that what really counts survived.

Best of luck.

September 10th, 2005, 07:20 PM
Thanks. It's funny I think it's the other way around right now- they got out and were so glad they got out and were alive, but now that the shock is wearing off, they're realizing what they've lost. :( My brother had a HUGE fish tank and some of his fish had just layed eggs... Also, when you realize that winter is coming and they don't even have running shoes, it's a bit scary. It's not even like moving out from your parents for the first time because when you do that, you leave with some clothes at the very least...

doggy lover
September 10th, 2005, 08:17 PM
Did they have insurance? That would be terrible, when I lived in an apartment for 12 years I was always scared of someone else starting a fire. Once there was one early in the morning someone cooking breakfast at 7am, my kids were home alone they were 12 and 10, they took our pets and went to a neighbour in an adjacent building. Thankfully the fire was put out quickly and never affected us.

September 10th, 2005, 08:23 PM
No, they didn't have insurance. They were really struggling to make ends meet and at that point, they didn't even have a home phone. The rent was $800/month and they could barely afford that but finding another apartment with two pitbulls was incredibly difficult.

I wonder if he could get any compensation from the landlord as there was no fire alarm, no sprinklers, no appropriate fire escape (one man went out onto the fire escape and dropped down and broke his leg).

September 10th, 2005, 08:38 PM
Prin, OMG I'm so sorry to hear about this. I'm glad that your brother his girlfriend and dogs are ok, but still, it's so sad :sad: I do hope everything picks up ok. :grouphug:

September 10th, 2005, 08:41 PM
Thanks. It really means a lot. :)

September 10th, 2005, 09:19 PM
At least he is all right!

Does he have somewhere to stay in the meantime?
He's staying at my dad's till tomorrow. After that, I'm not sure where he will go. His pitties aren't fixed (I know, I've been telling him- but they can't mate because the female is not social enough) so they won't get along with my doggies at all. Worst comes to worst, we'll have to arrange something. My other brother has room but he's not allowed dogs... :rolleyes:

I feel bad for my brother because we don't really have the family support that we could have. People always assume that because somebody's parents are wealthy, you have everything at your disposal, but we don't. We really don't. I love my dad, but because my brother has had to ask my dad for help over the past couple of years, my dad is way less than supportive, even under these extreme circumstances, and unless my brother wants to live with his dogs locked in a room all day while he gets incessant lectures from the old man, I think he has to find somewhere else to stay. I wish I had more means to help him out, but we're struggling as it is.

I don't understand why somebody losing their home to fire, to an event completely out of their hands is lumped in the same boat as somebody who was evicted for not paying his rent, as far as my family's reaction goes. It's really sad. SAD.

I'm trying to get a hold of my mom in Ottawa, but so far I have been unsuccessful. :( She, so far, has no idea.

Life is so uncertain sometimes and they say "all you have is family" but sometimes you don't even have that.

September 10th, 2005, 09:26 PM
You could try with muzzles,crate and rotate,and spare rooms.

September 11th, 2005, 02:05 AM
Oh, Prin.. how terrible! I am so sorry to hear of this frightening event. One's life being placed in such danger is shocking and upsetting to say the least. The awful aftermath of this disaster that your brother and his girl-friend are now faced with must be very overwhelming for them. My heart goes out to them, and their doggies.

How very sad too that someone died in this fire, paying the ultimate price for their carelessness. Thank God though that at least no innocent lives were lost as a result.

They are certainly in a very bad situation, and through no fault of their own.

Is it possible for them to contact the media, Prin?
Sometimes local tv stations or newspapers runs stories such as these, and the community will rally with offers of housing and household items to get them on their feet again.

I will certainly keep them in my thoughts and prayers, and send my best wishes to them in the difficult days ahead.
That is a real shame about the situation with your Dad.
Thank goodness he has a loving and caring sister such as you, Prin! :angel: who is there at his side to assist.

September 11th, 2005, 01:19 PM
I emailed the media, and while it happened they managed to talk to Journal de Montreal... Most of the info on the news was from my brother's mouth, but they don't show him. :rolleyes: He did get a bit of money unexpectedly from passers-by who felt so bad as the flames were blazing. :love: One woman gave them a blanket and $50.

My brother is meeting up with a laywer today to see what his options are.

His doggies are a bit of a mess. They refuse to eat my dad's dog food, so I brought over my Venison and Apple and my Lamb and Trout cookies so at least they would have something to eat. He also prepared them some chicken and rice.

They are such cuties, but they are just waiting to go home. :sad:

love my dogs
September 11th, 2005, 02:31 PM
Wow, I'm so sorry for your brother and his family. Please let him know that we are thinking of him.

I'm sure that the building owner will have to help him out, since he would have to have insurance. I hope the lawyer can work something out for him quickly.

It would be great if you could turn this tragic event into something positive, like say a headline that reads "Pitbulls save lives!" If possible, try to work in a plea for him to find an affordable pitbull friendly home.

Call ALL the local papers, as well as the national papers....write letters to them as well......someone will respond!

September 11th, 2005, 02:42 PM
Oh wow, Prin. I really hope your brother gets some good luck going his way. Are there any groups/charities, whatever, that help people in situations like this?

September 11th, 2005, 02:55 PM
Sun Youth is helpful in such situations. They might help him to find at least a temporary place to stay and provide for his basic needs. It could get a bit complicated with the dogs, though. Good luck to him, I live in an old place, there was a fire one floor down and one (attached) building over a few years ago - I felt so lucky to be spared - and it was caused by faulty wiring. So one wonders if the same thing could happen again.

September 11th, 2005, 04:28 PM
Sorry to hear about your brother, Prin. My brother was burned out about 10 years ago. For years, he'd suddenly become aware of something else that was burned up that he hadn't thought about before. Things like his Eagle Scout pin & certificate. But, like your brother, he had his dog safe with him when it happened. Everything else can be replaced, although it'll take awhile. With things tight, you're a good sister to help out like you're doing. The newspaper today has an article about siblings fighting over inheritances. Good to see someone with a sense of family!

September 11th, 2005, 11:45 PM
Thanks everybody.

They did have a shelter for the first night, but my brother had to stay in a coat room because the people were afraid of the doggies... :rolleyes:

My dad decided to keep him for a few more days. He went to see the wreckage and I think it softened him up a bit.

For some reason, they were allowed into the building (?!) and they managed to salvage some clothes from a closet that was untouched by the fire (they were soaked though). His wallet was stolen (!!) from the apartment and they saw the charred shadow around where it had been. All his liquor bottles were gone too. It's amazing how people take advantage of somebody who has lost everything!! :mad: Apparently the fire didn't make it to his mattress (the hoses certainly did) but somebody had also stolen the duvet. Just nuts. His fish had all died in their tanks but a couple of the tanks were still standing. The dining room table was gone (burned completely) as was most of his living room.

Even though these are really hard times for us both financially and with my thyroid crap that's still going on :rolleyes: , I can't help but feel incredibly lucky- first Katrina, then my brother. We have a home, food, water, doggies and cars (with gas). What more do you need? :)

September 12th, 2005, 12:28 AM
It's amazing that somebody could be so low and steal from a situation like this. I hope everything gets sorted for your brother and his dogs.

September 12th, 2005, 09:51 AM
Hi Prin,

If your brother and his girlfriend need clothes, I have some that I can give. My clothes are very clean and well taken care off. For the pitties, well, I can arrange low cost sterilization. My low cost sterilization offer will be on the table as long as needed.

September 12th, 2005, 05:17 PM
Thanks!!!! :) I will let my brother know. I think they have to get settled somewhere first and then they'll consider getting them fixed. He wanted to breed them (!!) but I convinced him of all the responsibility and money that might entail. I basically said if you're in it for the money, you'll lose money. If you're in if for the doggies, then you will get other benefits from it.

September 13th, 2005, 08:50 AM
I'm really sorry to hear about this Prin.... :sorry:

September 13th, 2005, 11:39 AM
Prin -- this is terrible!!! I saw the title of this thread and of course it really hit me hard. I completely understand what they're going through. I'm glad their family got out okay and they will be glad about it again someday, I'm sure. I know it hits like a ton of bricks when the adrenaline is gone and you've got nothing left. They will remain in my prayers. Many hugs. I'm so sorry. -- Anita

September 13th, 2005, 11:44 AM
Thanks Marko and Anita. That's what we were saying- you see the news and all the people who have lost their homes and way up here, we feel so far away from it all. And then he lost his home anyway. :rolleyes: At least he has other buildings to choose from around here... I know buildings that are still standing are not incredibly common where you are, Pags. :sad:

We're always lucky in some way... Sometimes it's just hard as hell to figure out in what way.

Dog Dancer
September 13th, 2005, 12:16 PM
Prin, just got around to reading through here and see this thread. So sorry to hear about your brother's fire, but as all have said, he was lucky! Family can be a strange thing at times can't it. But at least he's got you there helping him too. Good luck to him with his search for a new home and good on him for keeping the pitties no matter what. Maybe a rescue group, or vet could foster them for a few weeks - hero's that they are - until your brother has a place for all.

September 13th, 2005, 12:25 PM
Thanks. Looks like they're staying with my dad till they find a place. It's funny- one of my brother's pitties is making everybody fall in love with him. He's like a big version of my dad's Jack Russell- they have the same spots and everything. They play together all the time- it's so cute. It's just his other dog, the female, that wants to eat the Jack... :eek: So they have to constantly keep her away.

September 13th, 2005, 02:59 PM
Prin: Are they in a city or country environment. 45 minutes response time is RIDICULOUS. In Ontario, we have 7 minutes from the time the call is received in communications to get our butts on scene. Failing that, there's an inquiry.

I'd ask for an inquiry, that's ridiculous.