Community rallies around Peoria firefighters with t-shirt fundraiser

PEORIA, Ariz. (FOX 10) - A simple t-shirt is going a long way to help some Valley firefighters badly hurt in an explosion.

While it may look like a regular gray t-shirt, it's actually the way the community can show love and support for the firefighters who were injured in an explosion on Good Friday.

"This crew was the crew that went to that call during the explosion," said Charles Tanner with Peoria Fighterfighters Charities. "The nickname is Thunderbird Express because [the] station is located off Thunderbird Road."

Four firefighters were injured during an explosion at the APS facility on April 19th. Two remain in the hospital. This is the second printing run of the t-shirt by Athletic Ink in Peoria, which is printing, selling, and shipping the shirts.

"We sold 400 shirts so far," said Maria Baniewicz with Athletic Ink. "We hope to get more sales and I hope to make a lot of money to help the firefighters."

Peoria Firefighters Charities says they weren't looking to do a fundraiser, but communities across the state have flooded the department asking to help in some way. Tanner says at times it's been overwhelming - but in a good way.

"I think two or three times [as many] people just showed up to the station with different things," Tanner said. "Gas money - it has been absolutely wonderful."

It has also been eye-opening, says Tanner, to on the receiving end of a giving, caring community.