Help for Detroit firefighter who lost home in blaze

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

It’s not every day that a Detroit firefighter finds his own house ablaze and comrades racing to douse the flames.

But that’s the scene Donnie Dickerson faced Tuesday, when after less than two years on the job, he lost his east-side home and belongings, said friends rallying to raise money for his recovery.

“This young man will have to start over with nothing,” read a GoFundMe page launched Wednesday. “Now is a perfect opportunity to help out someone who goes to work every day to stop this very thing from happening to complete strangers.”

Dickerson’s supporters also have started selling T-shirts through

The firefighter’s home was uninsured, and damage from the blaze was “too advanced to salvage any of his things,” according to the GoFundMe post.

News of the crushing setback has spurred many people — even strangers — to respond.

At, more than 240 of the black shirts from the “Donnie D Relief Crew” had been sold by early Thursday. The goal had been reached but the campaign runs through Aug. 12, when orders are printed and shipped, according to the site.

And in less than 12 hours, some 96 people had donated more than $4,700 — far exceeding the $1,500 goal — through GoFundMe.

“Prayers for this firefighter and his family,” one contributor wrote on the site. “Glad to see the community coming together to help out one of their own.”

How to help