Doing a good deed, resulted in a total loss of his house and belongings. Bryan Beekman says he let a friend and his girlfriend move in to his garage only hours before a series of explosions took his house and everything in it.
While it is unknown what caused the fire in the 2400 block of 7 Avenue North, Beekman says that around the garage, where the explosions happened, he noticed a strong chemical smell that he believes were part of drug production.
Bystanders at the scene say they witnessed the guest and his girlfriend telling fire crews what happened prior to the first explosion. They both fled the scene once police vehicles started arriving.
Beekman lost a leg and arm nine years ago when he was hit by a taxi driver while he was cycling. His wheelchair and prosthetic leg were left behind in the fire while he managed to climb out of his basement while it was burning down around him. He also rescued two dogs that were in the house.
Two fundraising campaigns have started to help Beekman purchase new mobility equipment and amenities.
No civilians were harmed during the explosions. One firefighter was taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Damage is estimated at $200,000. Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services have since completed their investigation into the fire. There is no conclusive evidence to determine the cause of the fire but it is deemed to be accidental.