Chicken BBQ helps Deferiet firefighter who lost his home

Updated: Sep. 6, 2020 at 7:46 PM EDT
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DEFERIET, N.Y. (WWNY) - This is not your average chicken barbecue.

“Today we’re doing a benefit chicken barbecue for one of our firefighters who lost his house a couple weeks ago. This is just something we could do to give back to him,” said Deferiet Fire Department Captain Chris Champagne.

On August 21, Justin Hall’s Town of Wilna home caught on fire. He lived there with his wife and seven kids. No one was hurt, but the family lost their home.

“It’s been a hard, crazy few weeks. But we’re managing, getting by. A lot of good help from the community, other fire departments and stuff. It’s really a brotherhood,” said Hall.

It’s a brotherhood he found unexpectedly.

Hall is a Lewis County native. He moved to the area last summer and joined the Deferiet Fire Department in February.

“It’s not something I’ve ever done before. I mean, I met the chief here at the ambulance squad and we grew to be friends. He invited me to be one of them. I never thought I would,” said Hall.

He never thought he would, but is glad he did.

“It kind of makes me want to stay. At first I was thinking maybe I should go back home, but all the outreach and everyone making me feel welcome here, this is my home, so I’m going to stick around,” said Hall.

And while the chicken barbecue gave his family almost $2,000 to re-plant their roots, Hall says the best thing you can do is to donate to your local fire department.

“I would appreciate that more than anything. If you don’t have the money, maybe a little time. Anything like that. There’s something for anybody, and I’m just amazed at the community. It blows me away,” said Hall/

If you’d like to donate to the Hall family, you can do so here.

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