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Langley-based San Group donates lumber to help rebuild fire-ravaged village of Lytton

Donation follows on heels of Surrey’s Teal-Jones’s challenge to suppliers
San Group owners Kamal Sanghera, left, Suki Sanghera and Paul Deol (from the Langley operation) announce $100 million in investments in their Port Alberni forestry operations on June 2, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Langley-based San Group of Companies is answering a call to help rebuild the B.C. village of Lytton after 90 per cent of it was destroyed by fire.

San Group, which has a number of sawmills and a remanufacturing plant in Port Alberni, has committed to sending enough siding material for 50 homes to assist with reconstruction efforts.

Roughly 1,000 people lost their homes and businesses when a wildfire whipped through Lytton. in less than a half-hour. Two people died.

The wildfire is still burning in the area, as are many others in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and surrounding region.

READ: From smoke to devastation: 23 minutes in Lytton

READ: RCMP probing ‘possible criminality’ in fatal Lytton wildfire

The San Group donation follows on the heels of Teal-Jones Group’s announcement Monday (July 12) that they will donate enough lumber to rebuild 50 homes and buildings—roughly a half-million board feet—to Lytton and the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council.

READ: Surrey sawmill donating enough lumber to build 50 houses in Lytton

Teal-Jones’s Jack Gardner encouraged other forestry businesses to join them in rebuilding resource-dependent communities.

The Sanghera brothers have been moved by the destruction of Lytton and the nearby Lytton First Nation.

“We saw the images of the burned homes, village streets, gardens and infrastructure,” Kamal and Suki Sanghera said in a statement.

“It’s clear that a huge job is ahead for the people of this community. We want to offer our support to assist in the reconstruction effort. The San Group believes in community and supporting the people who live there making homes for themselves, their families and their neighbours.”

San Group’s operations in Port Alberni produce siding materials such as those promised for Lytton’s rebuilding efforts, company spokesperson Mike Ruttan said. He said the company is prepared to send the material once it is needed.

“Even rebuilding 50 homes is a big task and you need a lot of suppliers, but you can’t just start overnight,” he said.

A former mayor in Port Alberni, Ruttan said he realizes Lytton officials will have to plan how they want to rebuild their community.

“They might not be able to handle anything for six to eight months.”

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