Dealership provides free truck to firefighter who had vehicle stolen

Firefighter given a free truck

Casey Richardson

A tough story ended on a positive note Wednesday, when a firefighter whose truck was stolen and damaged beyond repair was given a replacement for free. 

It’s not often trucks are replaced for free but Penticton Toyota was following Connor Callaghan’s story and wanted to step up. 

“He’s spending his summer fighting fires and helping look after everyone else’s property, and their homes, we just wanted to do something to give back to him,” Larry Pidperyhora, the general manager for Penticton Toyota said.

“We couldn't replace his tundra, we wanted to do the next best thing. Hopefully this new truck will bring him some new memories and end a negative situation with something positive." 

It took about two weeks for Toyota to locate a truck, refurbish it and set it up as a reliable vehicle for him. Callaghan was shocked when he saw the white 2010 Tundra.

"[I’m] beyond excited, it's crazy to see. I don’t know what to do to be honest, I’m shaking,” Callaghan said. 

After Callaghan, a Kelowna resident, returned from battling the Christie Mountain wildfire in Penticton, he discovered his truck was stolen from the parking lot at the BC Wildfire base in Merritt BC. Once it was finally found again in Kamloops, it was a write-off.

Callaghan was living out of the truck at the time and was not able to replace both the truck and its contents with his insurance payout.

“It was a really difficult thing to go through and then it just bounced back with this insane gesture.”

His stolen truck was purchased new by Callaghan's father back in 2003, before Callaghan bought it in 2017. They had put 670,000 kilometres on the truck between the two of them, holding a lot of memories.

“When I see a tundra or a similar kind of colour of year drive by, it still makes me a bit sad. But this is insane though to be given a truck like this, I couldn’t ask for a better outcome really.”

Callaghan also had a GoFundMe set up by his sister after the theft, which he says now he will now look into donating those funds to charity.

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