Mother on mission to help Detroit firefighters

Sheila Crowell is raising funds to buy new boots for firefighters

DETROIT – A Detroit mother is on a mission to help the firefighters at her local firehouse get the equipment they need.

Sheila Crowell lost her son, Buck, 14 months ago, but she's now adopted some local firefighters as her own. After Buck's death, Crowell stayed home for months. However, she did make it out to vote at the Ladder 22 Firehouse in southwest Detroit. She didn't like what she saw.

Crowell found the firefighters have to buy their own toilet paper. She also didn't like the city-issued boots most of the firefighters were wearing to protect their feet in burning homes and buildings.

"As a mom, I thought, ick! That's what kind of boots they're wearing?" Crowell said.

Top of the line firefighting boots cost more than $300, so Crowell has been raising money to buy 28 pairs of the boots for firefighters at Ladder 22 and Engine 34. Crowell was able to lower the cost of the boots from $320 to $194 a pair.

Crowell held a fundraiser for the boots at the UAW Local 22 Hall on Michigan Avenue on Saturday. Close to $1,500 was raised.  UAW Local 22 is also buying five pairs of boots for the department.  It leaves Crowell $1,500 short of her goal, but you can help donate.

Checks can be written to the National Firefighters Endowment. Checks must read: Boot Fund Engine 22/Ladder 34.

Crowell is also encouraging community members to go out and meet their local firefighters.