Calgary community helps senior whose garage burnt down

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Calgary community helps senior after garage burnt down
Watch: The Calgary community is rallying to help a senior whose garage burnt down after she let two people experiencing homelessness take shelter. As Craig Momney reports, a company is demolishing her garage after hearing her story – Jun 3, 2023

Gaile Simpson will help anyone in need whenever she can. Now, she’s getting a little help from others.

This past winter, she let two people experiencing homelessness take shelter in her garage to warm up. A fire lit inside the garage got out of control.

The insurance company determined it was an accident, but Simpson was shocked to learn the company canceled her home insurance completely.

“They cancelled my house insurance. They didn’t phone me. They just cancelled it,” she told Global News.

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The only way to get her house insurance back was to demolish the garage, but that could cost thousands of dollars. Simpson says she is on a fixed income and can’t afford the demolition.

She tried to get her insurance back, but her broker told her there’s nothing they can do. That’s when a friend of hers reached out to JustJunk, and the company is doing the demolition for free.

The garage will be gone by Saturday evening and Simpson’s insurance should be reinstated next week.

“We got the information that she needed, and as we drove away we said’We’ve got to try and help this woman out somehow,'” said Deb Derbyshire, owner of JustJunk.

“She did good for people … So we offered to do the job for her to make sure that she can get the garage down and carry on with her life.

“I just have this certain sense of empathy for individuals that are really going through a tough time and this lady is struggling on so many levels. I just couldn’t let this pass up.”

A GoFundMe fundraiser is also being set up to help Simpson recover her belongings and other needs.

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