DETROIT – The Detroit Fire Department and its many supporters are rallying Monday night around an injured firefighter.
Mark Taylor suffered burns over half his body while fighting a fire at an abandoned home last week. Taylor is known as a man who helps others, and now that help is coming back around for him.
Doctors said Taylor will have scars from the blaze for the rest of his life, and his friends have decided they need to do all they can to help ease the pain.
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The call for the fire went out around 1:10 p.m. Thursday from a home in the 8100 block of Whittaker Street in Southwest Detroit.
Emergency medical officials did what they could for Taylor at the scene. He had been buried in burning rubble for 10 minutes before being cut free from the wreckage with chainsaws, officials said.
"He's going to have a series of surgeries," friend and union representative Chris Smith said. "I know that for sure, and it's a lot worse than any of us thought."
Taylor is president of the Detroit Fire Department clown team that can be seen every year at America's Thanksgiving Day parade. The team's real mission is charity work, including hospital visits for child burn victims.
"Anything that's going on around the state -- and I know they even travel wherever it is -- they're there making sure that the kids are smiling, making sure people's dreams are fulfilled," Smith said.
Smith said a GoFundMe page has been created to help Taylor in his recovery.
"Great guy, big heart, do anything for you," Smith said. "It's just that typical guy everybody wants to be around. Everybody gravitates to him."
Another Detroit firefighter, Alex Rodriguez, was also injured in the fire. He has a broken leg and will need surgery. He's included in Taylor's GoFundMe page.
A 73-year-old man has been charged with intentionally setting the fire.