PORTLAND, Maine — Fires in Australia continue to burn and at this point, we've all seen the images of the smoke, flames, and injured animals. Those pictures from home have been a lot for Aussies here in the U.S. to watch. People like Louis Copolov.

Copolov works for the Maine Red Claws as the manager of operations. He's from Melbourne, Australia. He said the fire hasn't reached Melbourne, but the intense smoke has.

"It's just absolutely heartbreaking, especially being so far away from it all," he said. "That's what really hurts."

He feels so far from home, but he doesn't feel alone.

You see, the Red Claws are an affiliate of the Boston Celtics and at Wednesday night's game, Copolov was in good company.

Louis and Patty
NCM

"[I was] lucky enough to meet Patty Mills, one of Australia's most famous basketball players," he said. "It was pretty cool. I was sort of starstruck, but at the same time, it was fortuitous especially since he's been so vocal about the fires."

There on the court, a connection like no other.

"The big thing for us was, 'how's your family, how're your friends?' You know not many people have died which is obviously a good thing for us it's more the loss of animal life," he said. "It's devastating."

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