Barbeque fundraiser raises $51,000 for firefighters hurt in Wilmington explosion

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WILMINGTON, LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Community members rallied together to help the firefighters who were hurt in a devastating truck explosion in Wilmington two months ago.

A day of donations and dedication was held Saturday as the community honored and offered support to the firefighters of LAFD stations 38 and 49, who were the first on the scene of February’s explosion.

Nine firefighters were injured, two of them critically, when the natural gas-powered truck caught fire and exploded. All of them have since returned to work.

A massive explosion involving a pressurized tank on a semitruck in Wilmington left nine firefighters injured, two of them critically.

“Events like this are really a time to heal for both the community… obviously they’re worried about things like this happening in their backyards.. And then for the firefighters to know that they’re still here to support the community,” said LAFD Deputy Chief Stephen Gutierrez.

California Assemblymember Mike Gipson was at Saturday’s event. He said the donations will be used to “re-do” the fire stations so that “those who put their lives on the line each and every day have a comfortable place they can spend time until the next call.

Seven of the nine firefighters who were injured in an explosion have been released from the hospital as new video emerged that showed the massive blast.

L.A. City Councilman Tim McOsker organized Saturday’s fundraising barbeque at Wilmington Town Square Park. It was a chance to celebrate together and for the community to be able to thank their hometown heroes for their service.

“Wilmington is a really wonderful, loving, tight-knit community that does want to support one another,” he said.

Officials say the event raised $51,000 to help get those needed repairs done at the two fire stations.

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