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Heidelberg responds to firefighter's plight

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By Doug Gulasy

Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Heidelberg community is supporting a borough firefighter whose home was destroyed in a blaze last week.

The fire at 476 First St., which occurred in the early-morning hours of March 21, left Heidelberg volunteer firefighter Jason Adkins and his family homeless.

“With Heidelberg being as small a community as it is and close-knit as it is, any fire's tough,” Heidelberg fire Chief Joe Wissel Jr. said. “But a fire that affects your department, being one of your member's homes, is a lot tougher than I wanted to know.”

Adkins, a seven-year member of the Heidelberg Volunteer Fire Department, lived in the home with his wife, two young sons, father, grandmother and two dogs — all of whom escaped safely. The family is staying in a hotel temporarily as it looks for a new home.

The department is accepting donations for the family. Wissel said a number of clothes donations came in, and top priorities now are household goods and sporting goods for the two boys.

Donations can be sent to Heidelberg Volunteer Fire Department at 456 First St. in Heidelberg. Wissel asks that donations be marked “Attention: Firefighter Adkins Relief Fund.” In addition, donations can be sent to Kirwan Heights Volunteer Fire Department and Rennerdale Volunteer Fire Department.

Wissel also said the department will organize fundraisers for Adkins in the future, though nothing official is planned at this time.

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-8527 or




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