San Francisco Chronicle
Sep. 1—An online fundraiser for a Stanislaus County firefighter seriously burned in the Caldor Fire raised nearly $60,000 in just over 24 hours.
Richard Gerety, a volunteer firefighter from the West Stanislaus Fire Protection District in Patterson, suffered burns battling the massive fire in El Dorado County on Saturday, according to the GoFundMe fundraiser. He’s expected to be hospitalized for at least a month to treat second- and third-degree burns to about 20% of his body.
Gerety, who is married and has a 2-year-old son, is being treated at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. The fund was established to help his wife during his recovery.
Gerety was with a team fighting the northeast corner of the fire on Saturday afternoon when he was burned. Four firefighters working with him were able to rescue him and transport him to the burn center. Colleagues created the GoFundMe campaign.
The GoFundMe account for Gerety is among hundreds that have been set up for people who’ve suffered from the Northern California wildfires, especially the Caldor and Dixie fires. The accounts have been verified by the third-party fundraising website as directed toward wildfire relief.
Three firefighters, including Gerety, have been injured by the Caldor Fire. Gerety is a tractor mechanic who volunteers with the West Stanislaus fire department.
“He’s one of those guys that was raised right, willing to help people,” said Fire Chief Jeff Gregory. “He always goes all out, likes to listen and learn — and he knows what he’s doing.”
Michael Cabanatuan is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: email@example.com Twitter: @ctuan
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