Boy donates life savings, reacts to Sissonville explosion - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Boy donates life savings, reacts to Sissonville explosion

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Alanna Autler Alanna Autler

When the Sissonville Volunteer Fire Department burned down two years ago, Joshua Shaffer, then just five years old, wanted to help.

So Joshua donated his life savings--$45.77-- to help rebuild the station.

"I wanna help people," said Joshua, who aspires to be a firefighter one day. "They needed money."

That same volunteer fire department, which reopened just a few weeks ago, came out in full force to battle the flames that rocked the Sissonville area after a gas line explosion.

Chief Tim Gooch returned to ground zero, where mere hours ago his crew had fought with fire.

"The community gave to us when that station burned down, and now we give," Gooch said. "Every day when someone needs help, we give back."

And Gooch said Joshua represents Sissonville at its best, a community where people always give without asking questions.

"Remember the story in the Bible about the lady who had two tittles to give? Gooch said. "Here is a little boy who gave everything he had to help firefighters."

During the interview with 13NEWS, Josh kept asking about the people who lost their homes in the explosion.

"Are they okay? Nobody got hurt? Did they get out in time?" Joshua asked.

Josh was so worried about the accident, 13NEWS reporter Alanna Autler took him to the site so he could see the destruction for himself.

Like so many people over the past 24 hours, Joshua became fixated on the ruins.

Maybe it's because the view looks devastating. But his grandmother had another explanation.

"He was always a giving little boy," said Patty Brannon, of South Charleston. "Always concerned about how other people are doing."

Brannon said Joshua still keeps a piggy bank. He might even plan to donate the money to the families who lost their homes in the blast.