Dozens of New York firefighters show up to help gravely ill colleague fix his home

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A Rochester firefighter injured on the job, who then became gravely ill, was in desperate need of repairs to his home.

Due to his debilitating condition, RFD Lt. Steve Kelly can’t do his landscaping, fix his windows, or put up siding. Those, by the way, are just some of the things he needed done.

He had some extra helping hands Wednesday as 60-70 of his fellow firefighters came with donated supplies and muscle.

“Some of the work going on already included deck work, he’s getting some siding and donations are rolling in,” says Lt. John Peckham with the Rochester Fire Department.

Lt. Peckham says when his friend of 26 years Lt. Kelly became physically ill, he and dozens of others answered the call to help Lt. Kelly with all the work that needed fixing at his home.

“(Kelly’s) an extraordinary firefighter, he’s got a heart of gold, but also the heart of a lion. I’ll go anywhere with him,” says Lt. Peckham.

All of the materials today were donated by community businesses, including B & L Wholesale SupplyAllied Building ProductsBeacon Building, and Rochester Colonial

“The fact that they we’re able to get the materials to us, and then the firefighters took it from there…we couldn’t have done it without them,” says Lt. Ryan Fleming.

Lt. Peckham says the support shown touches all of them there, and wants Rochester to know, the RFD will always have their back. 

“It’s important that the community always knows that when you need us, we are there. And we’re there because we want to be. I’m proud to be a part of it. That’s all you can be, I’m proud to be a part of it.”

The fire crews will be back Thursday to help finish the job. 

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