A GoFundMe has been started to try to help George Pilarski, 73, after he lost his truck and camper he was living in to a single vehicle accident and fire. (Photo submitted)

Fundraiser set up for senior who is homeless after his camper truck crashed and burned in Nanaimo

73-year-old now living at a shelter

A 73-year-old man lost everything when the camper truck he was living in caught fire after a crash in Nanaimo, and witnesses to the accident are now trying to help with a GoFundMe.

George Pilarski is living in a shelter in Nanaimo after he lost his truck and camper to an accident and fire on Nanaimo Lakes Road.

“Earlier this month, myself and two friends were driving home from day of tree planting and found ourselves first on the scene of a single vehicle accident,” wrote Mandy Lawson, on the GoFundMe page she organized for Pilarski. “We witnessed a man’s truck, camper, which was his home, and all his worldly possessions burn to a crisp. Upon our arrival the truck and camper quickly caught on fire.”

Emergency services were called, but did not arrive in time to save the truck and camper.

Pilarski lost everything in the fire, but had also had a seizure about a week prior, Lawson learned, and he had a black eye a “goose egg” on his head that were injuries he suffered when he passed out and fell down.

Pilarski is from Toronto and worked in water treatment management there. He does not have family in B.C.

The truck was insured, but the camper he was living in and all his possessions were not.

Lawson said she her friends brought Pilarski a care package of vitamin C and other immune boosters along with some sanitizer at the shelter he’s staying in, but are concerned for his health.

“Along with the GoFundMe campaign, one of our biggest concerns is the fact that he is a senior citizen staying at a shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lawson said in an e-mail to the News Bulletin.” My friend Catherine, who was also first on the scene and I have been trying to contact someone from B.C. Housing in Nanaimo or citizens advocacy without any luck.”

To view or donate to the GoFundMe, visit this link.

READ ALSO: United Way asks for ‘local love’ for community’s most vulnerable in COVID-19 crisis



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