Firefighters rally to help one of their own after fire ruins house

Longtime firefighter Jason Burger lost his home to a fire on Thursday.  His fellow firefighters are helping out, by setting up a fund at City National Bank. (WCHS/WVAH)

A Dunbar firefighter who has spent much of his life fighting fires, is now a victim of one himself.

Jason Burger said, "I'm used to being on the other side of it. So it's a different feeling."

Burger is the Deputy Chief at the Dunbar Fire Department and volunteers at the Culloden Volunteer Fire Department. But 17 years of fighting fires couldn't prepare Burger for what happened Thursday.

"Like most people, you never think it's going to happen to you."

After being gone from his house for only 15 minutes, he returned to find it on fire.

Burger says it started in the attic, was electrical and had been smoldering for some time--possibly days.

"It's kind of crazy to think how long that was smoldering above me and I didn't even know," said Burger.

Burger's two children and wife weren't home when it happened.

Now the family of four is left with just the clothes on their backs and a few pictures of their old life.

Burger says he did have smoke alarms and thought he was prepared in case of a fire.

Burger said, "The night before, we were sitting at the kitchen table, with a layout of our house and what would happen if it ever caught fire. And twelve hours we are."

But Burger's fellow firefighters and friends are making sure he gets the help he deserves.

They've already held a benefit concern for him and have also set up a fund at City National Bank.

The outpouring of support is overwhelming for Burger.

"I guess thank you is never, ever going to be enough for how I feel."

And it's helping him keep a positive attitude about the future.

Burger added, "Might as well laugh, aint nothing else you can do about it."

The Burgers will be staying in a neighbor's basement until their home is rebuilt.

There are a few ways to donate to this account:

1.) Go to any local City National Bank (WV-OH-KY-VA) branch and tell them you would like to donate to the Jason Burger Fire Account.

2.) Drop your donation off to The Dunbar Fire Station located at 907 Dunbar Avenue.

3.) Mail your donation to Dunbar Professional Firefighters Local 1228 - P.O. Box 902 - Dunbar, WV 25064

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