RICHMOND, Va. -- A fundraising effort is underway to support a Richmond firefighter who was injured in a fire that claimed the lives of a mother and two children. Bryan Bradley suffered severe burns to his hands when he went into the burning Banton Street home on August 15.
"Bryan was wearing all of his equipment and despite doing all of the right things, the heat was too much for his equipment," firefighter Ryan Burke, who helped organize the GoFundMe, wrote on the page. "He is currently in the Burn Unit at VCU Medical Center. He is expected to be there for the next week or so, but full recovery is expected to be much much longer."
Money raised through the GoFundMe would be directed to Bradley and his wife to help cover costs while he is out of work.
"He risked everything to give others a chance," the message continued. "We are hoping to be able to give back to him."
Burke fellow Richmond firefighter Chris Stowell said they felt like they had to create the GoFundMe because Bradley is not the kind of person who would ask for help.
"We actually talked about it for a day before we even approached him with the idea because Bryan, and his wife for that matter, are very humble, and they don't want to ask for help. And we knew they wouldn't ask us. So we knew it was going to be a little bit of a challenge," Burke said "We sat them down and explained why we wanted to help him. Right now he needs to focus on getting better and not about money."
Stowell said it's something he knows Bradley would do for him if roles were reversed.
"Bryan's that guy, no matter what time of day, if you're in a bind, or you need to help, or you just need that one other person to move a refrigerator, he's the first one on the list. Because you know, if you call him he's going to drop what he's whatever he's doing, and he's going to be there in a moment's notice to help you," he said. "That's why this is such a big deal. He's that one guy, if you're in a bad spot, he's going to do whatever he can do to help."
The GoFundMe had raised nearly $6,000 as of Noon on August 19.
"We have had so much outpouring of support within the fire community and outside. That's why we started this fundraising. Not everybody can make Bryan a meal or come cut the grass. But there are so many people that want to help," Burke said. "
Mother, 2 children remembered after fatal Richmond fire: 'She was so kind'
Jasmine Allen, 22, and her children, four-year-old Kadene Allen and 9-month-old Jadae Copeland were killed in the Sunday morning fire at their Banton Street home.
“She was a new mom, but she loved her kids," Jasmine’s cousin Jerrica Finney said. "She was about family, a devoted mother. She loved them babies."
Jasmine’s brother Jamel and his friend continue to recover at VCU Medical Center after running into the burning home to try and save the children.
"We heard he ran right in there and faced the fire. His face is burned, and he has severe burns on his body. But he didn’t care, and he wanted to make sure he could get to those babies," Finney explained. "I think it’s important everyone to pray for him as well because he’s a hero."
The family has created a GoFundMe to help them with the unexpected funeral costs.
Richmond fire leaders already sounded the alarm about the increase in fire fatalities earlier this year. They said a common theme in most incidents is there were no working smoke detectors. That was also the case on Banton Street.
The tragedy brings the number of fire deaths in Richmond in 2021 to 8. That's more than the fire fatalities over the past three years combined. There were two in 2020, two in 2019, and none in 2018.