A man from Sydney Mines, N.S., says he is overwhelmed with support from his community after speaking out about disturbing damage done to one of his homes.
Wayne MacDougall says he was shocked when he walked into his Sydney Mines house on Jan. 19 to find extensive damage that he says is valued at about $50,000.
MacDougall shared his story on CTV News on Tuesday in hopes it would help find the culprit. Although no arrests have been made yet, he says his community's help has turned a negative situation into a positive one.
"A lady I only know through mutual friends has started a GoFundMe page," said MacDougall. "She has a crew of volunteers wanting to help clean up the house. Contractors have been offering some help; people have offered to donate appliances, do drywall work."
The GoFundMe page has a goal of $5,000. Just six hours after being created, it is already sitting over $1,000.
MacDougall's home was empty and in the process of being sold. The closing date was scheduled for next week, but the sale is now off.
MacDougall says his insurance will not cover the damage because nobody was living in the house at the time of the incident.
"It was a shock, and it just adds to the devastation," said MacDougall. "When you see the damage, and then you find that out on top of it, it's difficult."
According to MacDougall, when he spoke with his insurance company a few years ago, he was told it was understood there would be some vacancies with his rental properties, which is why he thought he was covered.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada says homeowners' insurance companies need to be notified every time this happens.
"It's one of those things that's part of the statutory conditions in all of our home insurance policies out there, to notify your insurance company when your home becomes vacant or will become vacant," said Amanda Dean, the vice president of IBC Atlantic.
MacDougall says although he was not sleeping in the house, he was there every day and didn't feel the house should be classified as vacant.
"You're here, you're working on the place, you're taking in the mail, you're cleaning the driveway," explained MacDougall. "It's not an abandoned property; it's a vacant property that's being worked on. I don't know how else you can do renovations while people are living there and get it ready for sale."
The Insurance Bureau of Canada says MacDougall can call its consumer information centre for additional information.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact Cape Breton Regional Police.