A week after an explosion severely injured two local firefighters, businesses throughout Roswell continue to raise money to help cover their medical expenses.
Jeff Stroble, 46, and Robert “Hoby” Bonham, 36, were with 10 other firefighters June 5, packing fireworks for the city’s Fourth of July celebration — in a building west of the Roswell International Air Center — when an explosion occurred.
The 10 other firefighters were treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and released, however Stroble, a fire apparatus operator with the department, and Bonham, a firefighter, sustained serious burns and had to be transported to a medical facility in Lubbock, Texas.
When asked for updates on the conditions of Stroble and Bonham Tuesday, Todd Wildermuth, public information officer for the Roswell Fire Department, said he could not offer specifics about their conditions, but said they are showing improvement day by day.
The families of both injured firefighters did not return requests for comment about their conditions before press time Tuesday.
People and businesses throughout Roswell have been stepping up to help the Strobles and Bonhams by organizing fundraisers and contributing money to help with medical expenses.
Pioneer Bank, which has set up an account for donations for the Bonhams and Strobles, stated in a post on its Facebook page that more than $28,000 has been raised so far from donors in Roswell and throughout the state. People can make a contribution at any of the Pioneer Bank branches in the area.
A GoFundMe account created to assist with the firefighters’ medical expenses had raised $3,270 as of Tuesday night.
Upcoming benefits for the firefighters include:
• Denny’s at 2200 N. Main St. will be hosting an all-you-can-eat spaghetti supper tonight from 4 to 9 p.m., with proceeds to help the firefighters and their families. For more information, call the restaurant at 575-622-9960.
• Pecos Flavors Winery + Bistro at 412 W. Second St. is hosting an all-day fundraiser today for the injured firefighters. They are donating $1 for every bottle of wine and beer sold and 10% of money from all food sales.
• Both Domino’s Pizza locations in Roswell are donating 100% of profits from dine-in, carry out and delivery orders today, according to the Domino’s Roswell North Facebook page.
• The Roswell Chamber of Commerce on June 22 will be hosting a Hellfire Ride at Roswell Fire Station 1 at 200 S. Richardson Ave. Registration will start at 11 a.m. and the riding will begin at noon, according to the event’s Facebook page. A firefighter escort will lead riders to fire stations throughout Roswell before reaching the Alien Motor Speedway. At the Speedway, there will be a BBQ, live concerts, activities, raffles and auctions.
• Roswell Ford is pledging to match every dollar up to $4,000 in money it raises for the injured firefighters, with people able to drop their donations off at the business. On June 22, a check will be presented to Pioneer Bank.
Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.