'Everyone's been affected': Businesses rally to help those displaced by house explosion
Published Thursday, August 15, 2019 6:40PM EDT
Through the chaos is the story of a community coming together.
When word spread of the devastation following an explosion in London's Old East Village, businesses in the area began doing anything they could to help.
From offers of food to shelter, businesses in the neighbourhood rocked by the explosion have opened their doors to provide relief.
"I'm here today to find where these people are so I can help and see if they need any food," explains Yasser Ali, who operates Shelby's Food Express.
The Red Cross and the City of London are helping more than two dozen people find places to stay.
The entire city block was evacuated after the explosion.
"We don't have an update on whether they'll be allowed home tonight," says a city official.
"People are really wondering about home, family members, their pets and what comes next for them."
Many people have found shelter at the Boyle Memorial Community Centre. It's serving as a meeting point for those needing help and those offering it.
Gavin Anderson is the president of Anderson Craft Ales. He says his business has started collecting donations of clothing and other household items.
"I mean, this is our neighbourhood too, these are people that are in here all the time and it was only a couple hundred metres from here, so everyone's been affected by it," he says.
Other businesses, like Corporate Investigation Services, are offering couches, coffee and snacks to first responders who were on scene.
There's also a Facebook page for the Old East Village community, constantly being updated by volunteers on what's needed and how people can help.