Amidst uncertainty in the aftermath of the fires in Fort McMurray, James Lahey found comfort in an unexpected way: a call to his internet service provider.
As the fire raged on, it became harder and harder to figure out if his home was still safe. "There was a lot of misinformation about which areas of town were damaged and which areas of town were spared," Lahey told BuzzFeed Canada. "I'd seen some images that looked like my area but I didn’t have a good sense of what was waiting for me when I got home."
That's when he had the brilliant idea to call up his internet provider, Shaw. He knew the company had a way of communicating with his home internet modem. If they could receive a signal from the modem, maybe his home was still standing.
He ended up talking to Mel Hendershot, a Shaw employee in Winnipeg who later described the phone call in a Facebook post.
It wasn't until later that Lahey found Hendershot's viral Facebook post about the call.
Lauren Strapagiel is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.
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