It’s been a month since former Saskatoon resident Audun Klath has been able to check on his home in Fort McMurray.
His house was one of the lucky ones left standing in one of the hardest hit areas of Stone Creek.
“There’s really only seven duplexes left standing in our neighbourhood,” Klath told CKOM News.
“There’s two to three hundred homes destroyed. It’s definitely not a friendly place to be right now.”
He spent much of Thursday trying to get into his area after some confusion as to whether he was able to access it.
He was told a number of times that he would be able to check on his home; but when he got to his neighbourhood, he was told he wouldn’t be able to gain access.
In fact, re-entry into his area was supposed to be delayed.
Eventually, Klath was able to get 20 minutes to grab whatever he could. Because of the chemical toxins in the air he was forced to wear a mask, safety glasses and gloves.
“My dad gave me a hockey stick that my grandfather gave him from the 1930’s or 40’s; that’s just something you can’t replace, so I’m glad that wasn’t destroyed,” he said.
He was also able to fill a suitcase and a bin of other important items for his family.
Remarkably, Klath said the inside of his home his relatively unscathed; the outside is a different story.
“The vinyl siding on the one side is like a waterfall,” Klath said.
“It’s dripping right off. Bulldozers knocked my wife’s car off the side of our driveway to save our home. That’s completely destroyed.”
While Klath returns to Saskatchewan where he and his family are staying for the time being, they can’t wait to get back home to Fort McMurray.
“We’ve had our good day and we’ve had our bad days. I was born and raised in Saskatoon and I’m proud to be from there, but Fort McMurray is our home. It’ll be nice to eventually get back.”