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Saskatoon man says neighbour saved daughter from burning house

Saskatoon man says neighbour saved daughter from burning house
WATCH: Alvin Albert lost his home in a fire on Saturday evening. He says his daughter wouldn't be alive without his neighbour.

Alvin Albert said his neighbour saved his daughter’s life.

“If Wayne wasn’t there in time, my daughter would have been gone,” he told Global News.

Albert lost his home on Saturday evening in a two-alarm fire on East Hampton Boulevard that, according to the Saskatoon Fire Department, caused $1 million in damage.

READ MORE: Fire destroys four Saskatoon homes, damages others

Albert’s family’s home was destroyed along with the duplex next door.

Albert was riding his bike when he saw the thick, black smoke and realized it was coming from his house.

“I (was) going as fast as I can because I’m a dad and I was like, ‘My daughter’s in my house… my dog’s there’,” he said.

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He told Global News he rushed towards the burning house and began screaming his daughter’s name.

Then he heard her call back from behind him.

“I turned around and I saw my daughter.”

READ MORE: Three Saskatoon residents fight fire with garden hoses

He said she wouldn’t be alive without Wayne Ermine, who lived in the basement apartment with his partner and step-daughter.

Ermine told Global News his girlfriend went outside for a smoke and spotted the fire.

He started to evacuate everyone when he realized what was happening.

“I got my stepdaughter and girlfriend out through the upstairs door. … I yelled for Alvin and Kristen upstairs and I was yelling for the girls, I was yelling, ‘It’s a fire!’” he said.

“He’s a good man… he did the right thing standing by making sure no one was left,” Albert said of Ermine.

“He’s a hero.”

Ermine and Albert said they lost everything they owned.

Then they received help from people they didn’t know.

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READ MORE: Saskatoon firefighters investigating three suspicious fires in one day

The Hampton Free Methodist Church began collecting donations for the families — who aren’t members of the congregation.

“We had about 50 people come in and we’re starting to fill up the tables with donations,” co-lead pastor Jessica Isaac said.

She added that the church is accepting donations until Tuesday evening and that people can also provide financial contributions online.

Albert said he can’t express how much it means to him that strangers are helping his family after he lost his house during a pandemic.

“It may not look like much to some people,” he said, turning towards the clothing and food gathered on tables in the gym of the church, “but the thought shows that people have heart.”