BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Blackthorn Restaurant and Pub was packed with firefighters, friends and family of Eric Whitehead, a firefighter injured two-weeks ago in a Butler Avenue fire.
Eric Whitehead has been at ECMC since the fire on January 10th, and is recovering from third-degree burns to his hands and arms. Captain Jeffery Stauffiger, says Whitehead went through his second surgery last week and could be facing another. Stauffiger explains that with these types of injuries, it is hard to say exactly when the wounds will be healed.
"He's got a good attitude about it just like he is about everything in life," Stauffiger added. "He is fully motivated to get well and doctors say he is on the right course."
Whitehead has been an Engine 21 firefighter for three and a half years in Buffalo.
"He's the kinda guy that comes into work early, leaves late, hard worker, and always asking questions," Stauffiger said. "Lives and breathes the job."
Stauffiger says Whitehead is studying to become a lieutenant and has asked him to bring study materials to the hospital so that he can start studying for the lieutenant test.
"He is super stoked to get back," Stauffiger added.
Three other firefighters were also burned in the fire, but have been released from the hospital.
"They go to work, pull their boot straps up everyday like they should," Stauffiger said. "We have all given them the help they need, we have a big support system in place for them and continued prayers for them as well."
All of the money from tonight's benefit will go directly to Whitehead to help support his family. The ladder six rescue one firehouse also started selling shirts to help raise even more money for the injured firefighter. More than 300 shirts have already been sold.
"We are going to do everything we can to help and provide for them," Stauffiger said. "We do a lot, we are very tight and at the end of the day we are family."