Petersburg firefighters purchase AC unit for elderly woman battl - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Petersburg firefighters purchase AC unit for elderly woman battling cancer

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) -

The Petersburg Fire Department is being praised for helping an elderly woman battling cancer. At Tuesday night’s council meeting, firefighters were recognized for buying her a new air conditioning unit.

Sometimes, it's the little things that can mean a lot - a concept not lost on some Petersburg firefighters who were committed to make a difference.

Earlier this month, Petersburg firefighters had to bust open a window while rescuing a woman trapped in her Matoax Avenue home during a fire.

"We learned at that fire event that home and several others did not have basic smoke detection devices,” said Fire Chief Dennis Rubin.

That's when he got to talking with his team.

"Even though it was hot, when I asked the members if they would go out and install smoke detectors in that neighborhood, they all agreed,” Rubin said.

They just finished going door-to-door when they noticed something out of the ordinary on Hampton Road.

"When they went in to install it, they recognized it was very, very warm in the house," Rubin recalled.

That's when the woman - believed to be in her late 70s - told them her AC had been broken for quite some time. The firefighters wasted no time, pooling their own money to purchase a wall unit from a local department store. They came back and installed the unit, in addition to a smoke detector. Neighbors say the elderly woman lives alone and is undergoing chemotherapy.

"She's a very lovely lady. She's been going through a lot,” said Anita Jackson.

That's why at Tuesday night's city council meeting, there was a standing ovation for the selfless first responders who saw a need and took action.

"I don't think a lot of people would expect that, but this is a close neighborhood, a close community. We look out for each other out here,” Jackson added.

"This is a great example of what our incredible people are doing out in the streets of Petersburg,” Rubin said.

As temperatures continue to heat up, the timing of this noble act couldn't have been any better.

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