A B.C. man who lost it all in the 2017 wildfires was the victim of thieves this week, just as he was trying to rebuild.
Deva Khurana’s home was destroyed last year when the category four White Lake fire swept through the Cariboo on July 15.
After taking the winter away to recover from the loss, friend and neighbour Stephanie Bird said Khurana was in a good frame of mind and ready to rebuild his home, located on a rural property about 20 minutes west of Williams Lake in the Soda Creek area when the thieves hit.
“He’s one of those guys who does everything by hand,” Bird said Thursday. “He takes a lot of care to do things frugally and everything was beautiful and tidy.”
Bird has started a GoFundMe page for Khurana in hopes of helping him get back on his feet.
A Honda Forman 500 blue quad, Honda 2000i red generator, orange GPS 64sex, Sthil 291 chain saw, black helmet and SPOT tracker were among the items stolen.
“They even stole a can of wd40,” Bird noted.
Khurana did not have insurance and lived off the grid, but recently had hired someone to mill up the burned timber on his property and was in pretty good spirits about beginning to rebuild, Bird said.
“I trust people generally so when things like this happen it’s really shocking,” Bird said. “Deva accepted that because he didn’t have insurance that was a consequence, but now having everything stolen is very demoralizing. It’s also very harsh because he is the type of person who tries to live simply and he’s been taken advantage of.”
With the GoFundMe, Bird said she is hopeful people will show some empathy.
A total of 10 homes and 44 structures were lost on the Soda Creek Road due to the White Lake wildfire which jumped the Fraser River on July 15 forcing the evacuation of Williams Lake.