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Prestwick Villas Fire in McKenzie Towne, Calgary
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From Ashes to Aid: McKenzie Towne’s Remarkable Response to Condo Fire

A condo fire in SE Calgary's McKenzie Towne displaced 48 families, sparking an immediate wave of community support

An overnight condo fire in the SE Calgary community of McKenzie Towne on June 23, 2024, displaced 48 families for the foreseeable future. 

The fire started on a patio and quickly spread to completely destroy the upper two floors of the building.

 Water damage was extensive throughout the building, and many families lost all their belongings. 

Fourteen families could not find friends or relatives to stay with, and several families did not have renters or content insurance. 

First responders and the Red Cross were on the scene immediately and throughout the night, coordinating firefighting efforts. 

Parachutes for Pets, a local pet charity, was also on-site to provide food, shelter, and other pet needs. 

There were no reported injuries from the fire, although sadly, some pets did not survive.

Community Rallies 

Within hours of the blaze, community members rallied on the McKenzie Towne News and Discussion Facebook page to coordinate mutual aid efforts. 

Mona Cinderelly, a grassroots volunteer leading efforts to help Calgary’s houseless population, offered her garage as a drop-off location for donated goods such as clothes, bottled water, non-perishable food, toiletries, and other necessities. 

The response from the community over the first 24 hours was overwhelming, and community liaison Bree Moore stepped in to offer space at the McKenzie Towne Hall Community Centre to centralize and organize donations. 

The damage to the condo complex was extensive | Global News
The damage to the condo complex was extensive | Global News

Community volunteers self-organized to turn three banquet halls at the community centre into a donation drop-off and pickup location

Several local businesses donated food, pet supplies, and more to the relief efforts. Residents also answered the call for temporary accommodation for those who didn’t have a place to go.  

Within the first week after the blaze, there were more examples of community-led mutual aid supporting the fire victims. 

McKenzie Towne resident Lindsay Peters organized a bottle drive and collected over $520 worth of bottles to donate gift cards to each of the 48 displaced families. 

The Auburn Bay, 130th Avenue, and Legacy A&W locations organized a fundraiser for fire victims for the first week in July.  

There is no timeline for when repairs will be completed on the condo building at Prestwick Villas. 

Until then, ongoing mutual aid, community fundraising efforts, and disaster response will be key to helping these families bounce back from this traumatic event. 

As we always see in times of disaster, Albertans quickly step up to help their neighbours in need. 

Cleanup and repairs have already begun on Prestwick Villas in McKenzie Towne | Evelyn Tanaka
Cleanup and repairs have already begun on Prestwick Villas in McKenzie Towne | Evelyn Tanaka

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