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Fire victim gets much needed gift

Many come to the aid of mother and child who lost everything
20160727 WinmarNadia ro
Nadia Peters, with her daughter Milan, received a $500 gift from Winmar Restoration officials Taralyn Jamieson and Andrew Weisz on Wednesday, money to help the woman purchase needful things. after losing everything in an apartment fire. (Rob O'Flanagan/GuelphToday)

Nadia Peters was having a difficult year. And then she lost most everything in an apartment fire on the evening of Friday, July 22.

Peters, her daughter Milan, 9, at her side, wept Wednesday afternoon as Winmar Restoration official Andrew Weisz presented her with a $500 voucher – a donation from the company to help the woman replace some of what she lost.

A 7 Christopher Court fourth storey apartment fire started on the balcony of Peters’ apartment, where a number of items were stored.

Flames spread quickly, entering the apartment and destroying all of the family’s belongings, Peters said.

“Everything in the living room and everything in the kitchen was lost,” she said. “Everything inside was just black with soot.”

The single mother said she has been unable to work in recent times due to recurring bouts of anxiety and depression. The fire has heightened her level of stress.

“It’s been overwhelming,” she said.

Far more distressing than the loss of her personal possessions was the death of her and Milan’s beloved dog “Thor,” and boxer-mix that perished in the fire, along with two rodent pets.

“He was very attached to me,” said Peters, speaking of the dog.

Weisz is an estimator with Winmar. He said the company is noted for its community involvement, and for charitable donations to victims of fires and other tragedies.

“It does help them,” he said. “They’ve lost a lot, and they have been displaced from their home. This money allows them to get some stuff together.”

A Winmar crew has been in the apartment building for several days, creating an environment that is safe for everyone living inside, he said.  Much of the work involves cleaning down walls and removing anything that could trap soot.

The Winmar donation, he added, helps victims purchase much needed items in the aftermath of a tragedy, including clothes, food, and personal hygiene products.

“It’s amazing,” said Nadia, as she cried. “This will help me replace things like the bed sheets, pillows and mattresses that were destroyed.”

The support she received from Winmar, along with help from friends, neighbours and strangers, has given her hope that she will get through this difficult time.

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help her and others that sustained losses. The campaign is at It has a $15,000 goal.

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Rob O'Flanagan

About the Author: Rob O'Flanagan

Rob O’Flanagan has been a newspaper reporter, photojournalist and columnist for over twenty years. He has won numerous Ontario Newspaper Awards and a National Newspaper Award.
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