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Donations for first responders battling Camp Barkeley fire pour in

By Jennifer Kendall, jkendall@ktxs.com
Published On: Apr 29 2014 09:10:38 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 30 2014 08:55:31 AM CDT
BUFFALO GAP, Texas -

While volunteer fire departments have been working for three days to put out a large blaze near Camp Barkeley, people from across the Big Country have stepped up to help out firefighters.

Buffalo Gap City Hall has turned into a donation center.

"Everybody has the same goal and that's to get this fire out and get these people to where they don't have to worry anymore," said Susan Cottrell, who traveled from View to help with donations to first responders.

While firefighters spend long hours battling the blaze, many residents are spending their time organizing donations.

"With the support coming from the town, you bet they're going to hang in there," said Mack Brannan, a former firefighter. 

Cottrell said she found out the Buffalo Gap radio communications system was destroyed in the fire.

"If you can't communicate, you can't tell them where to go or tell them if you’re hurt or not – or tell them if a family's hurt," Cottrell said.

Cottrell donated thousands of dollars to help get their radio equipment back up.

"I want to help you get your job done the best way that I can and help this great town," Cottrell told firefighters.

Since the fire started, donations from the community have come pouring in to Buffalo Gap.

"We're so glad that some of these guys come out here to fight these fires that we're just trying to do our part," Brannan said.  

Firefighters said they are honored by the kind of support they've received from people everywhere.

"Living in a small community, we all have to help each other," said Derrick Sowell, a volunteer firefighter.  

Cottrell said this is her way of saying thank you to all the men and women risking their lives on the front lines. She hopes others will follow her lead.

"Come and match me. That's your goal today," Cottrell said.  

Here’s a list of items they still need donated: Hand sanitizer, wet wipes, glass cleaner, windshield washer fluid, paper towels, AA batteries, AAA batteries, nine volt batteries, and money to help fire departments with truck maintenance.