NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – People around the world are buying t-shirts benefiting the families of the firefighters killed and injured earlier this month in a fire at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Bryan.
T-shirts went on sale last Friday and the proceeds have a very specific purpose. The shirts cost $20 and $15 of that goes to help victims. In just four days some $50,000 had been collected and orders are still coming in.
While Texans are placing orders, sales have been made to all corners of the world. “I’m filling an order to ship to England,” explained Bryan firefighter and benefit organizer Rhett Filburn. “I am getting orders from fire departments that say they want a shirt for everyone in their fire department.”
Filburn is a firefighter at Fire Station #1, the same house where Lieutenant Eric Wallace, 36, worked. Wallace and 54-year-old Lieutenant Gregory Pickard both died after being injured while battling a blaze on February 15. Firefighters Ricky Mantey Jr. and Mitchel Moran were injured.
Filburn said selling the shirts also helps him heal. “From the time this happened, I find ways to involve myself with keeping busy with the [benefit] plans.”
Filburn’s wife is helping him with the endeavor and both initially thought they’d sell five or six hundred shirts. On the first day the Filburn’s received more than 1,000 emails and their server shut down.
The Bryan fire family says they’ll continue printing the shirts, as long as people keep ordering them. Right now, they’re set to order an additional 5,000 shirts.
Bryan is about 175 miles from the metroplex.
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