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Island Firefighter Who Suffered Heart Attack During Call Still Not Home After Sandy

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Mantoloking Fire Chief Larry Gilman and family. (Photo: Kelly Burdge)
Mantoloking Fire Chief Larry Gilman and family. (Photo: Kelly Burdge)

Friends are hoping to rally support to help the Mantoloking fire chief, a Brick resident, get back home after not only suffering a heart attack while responding to a raging house fire last weekend, but the stress of still being out of his home due to damage sustained during Superstorm Sandy.

Chief Larry Gilman, a volunteer firefighter who also works for Mantoloking’s public works department, was in stable condition and expected to recover, his daughter said via social media this week, but friends are hoping the community will pitch in to help Gilman get back to his Lagoon Drive East home. A GoFundMe page has, so far, generated over $1,000 toward a goal of $20,000.

“Larry is one of the most reliable people I have ever met and always puts everyone elses needs before his own,” said Kelly Burdge, a family friend who is spearheading the fundraising effort.

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Gilman, Burdge said, needs to have his home lifted and has been doing some of the work himself to save money. The long process of recovery has taken its toll, however, leaving him displaced and living in a temporary rental.

A house fire in Mantoloking, Feb. 27, 2016. (Photo: Jerry Meaney)
A house fire in Mantoloking, Feb. 27, 2016. (Photo: Jerry Meaney)

“In order to get him resting comfortably back in his own home with as little stress as possible, I’d like to be able for him to pay contractors to come in and finish up what he cannot,” Burdge wrote on the GoFudMe page. “The chief is going to out of commission for quite a few months and these repairs and renovation cannot be put on hold.”

Gilman, grandfather to a 2-year-old and “the best father and husband that he can possible be,” said Burdge, put his neighbors in Brick and Mantoloking before himself after the storm. The money will be used to hire contractors and pull out floors, buy supplies, paint, landscaping and finishing touches.

“No donation is too small and it would be giving back to someone who has given so much to everyone else – including myself!” Burdge said.

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