'It's what we do': Wheatley residents come out in droves to support explosion rebuild
A fundraiser fish fry event held Sunday had a line-up within minutes of getting underway.
“Its what we do,” says Mike Renwick, organizer of the event in a village which is the largest fresh water commercial fishing port in the world.
The event was organized in a matter of days, following the Aug. 26 hydrogen sulphide explosion at the “four corners” in the heart of Wheatley.
It levelled one building, heavily damaged dozens of others and two blocks remain evacuated 17 days later.
Even though his restaurant is evacuated, Renwick says he needed to do something to support his community.
“I’ve been in business in town for nine and a half years and you know, the towns supported me. So hey, you know what, let me use my skills.”
Renwick says the entire meal - fish, fries, onion rings, salad and a drink - were all donated by other businesses in Chatham-Kent.
“We hope to feed 500 people tonight.”
The money will be used to help the community rebuild, although its not clear when that can begin.
As of Sunday, Renwick says they haven’t been given any timelines from emergency officials for when the evacuation order will be lifted.
A large section of the core remains part of the evacuation area, forcing dozens of people from their homes and businesses.