When fire broke out in a south Calgary strip mall on Macleod Trail March 25, Kaden Clouston and Mackie Martineau sprung into action – banging on doors and helping tenants escape.
It was an act of valour the Calgary Fire Department feels is worthy of formal recognition.
READ MORE: Fire at Calgary strip mall shuts down Macleod Trail
“They have been nominated for the ‘Beyond the Call’ recognition program, where firefighters nominate citizens who respond above and beyond in emergencies and help out and make a real difference at the scene,” said Carol Henke, public information officer for the fire department.
The men are recovering addicts residing at the Calgary Dream Centre, which is located across from the strip mall. The centre provides support to people trying to escape homelessness and addiction.
Others, including a business owner in the strip mall, also want to reward the men.
“We have collected roughly 20 donations so far,” said Blair Fason of Juniper & Teal Wellness Studio.
And so far they’ve collected enough gifts to fill two large baskets for the men.
“More are expected and the collections are going to the two men that put their lives at risk to come into our burning building to make sure that everyone was out safely,” Fason said.
The Calgary Fire Department said the blaze has been deemed accidental based on a preliminary investigation by the arson unit.
Some of the tenants said repairing and rebuilding the strip mall could take six to eight months.