News 12 First at Five / Monday, May 6, 2013
AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW) -- In a fiery blast that ripped through a fertilizer plant in seconds, 14 were killed, including 12 first responders. Like so many others, Jennifer Rahner of Aiken has seen the video of the explosion in West, Texas.
"In addition to the human lives, much of their equipment was lost as well, and we're talking about a volunteer fire department. These people don't do it because they're getting paid to do it," Rahner said.
Her husband is a firefighter at Savannah River Site.
"I am so glad that I found someone who was willing to be one of those people who runs into a burning building," she said of him.
So after this tragedy, she knew it was her time to give back. She and a nationwide network through www.firewives.com are selling T-shirts to raise money.
Graniteville-Vaucluse-Warrenville volunteer firefighter Marion Kneece says it's money that's probably desperately needed.
"They are still devastated," he said of the small town of West. "When we had the Charleston 9 back in 2007, that hit home quick."
Kneece was also in Graniteville in 2005 when his volunteers responded to the chlorine spill that killed nine and destroyed fire trucks here at the station.
"Eighty-five to 90 percent of your firefighters throughout the U.S. are are volunteer," he said.
Rahner says for only $16 you can buy a shirt for yourself or someone in Texas and half the money goes to the West, Texas Volunteer Fire Department. Just visit www.firewives.com or find Fire Wives on Facebook.
"I'm hoping that our community will rally to support their community and that's why I wanted to draw attention to the fundraiser," Rahner said.