After the 9-11 terror attacks, hundreds of South Mississippi firemen did their part to help raise money for people in New York City. When Katrina shook up the Gulf Coast, upstate firefighters say it was only fitting that they help families who lost everything. Now, Dawn and Rusty Necaise will soon have a new home, thanks to the help of some New Jersey firefighters.
"We originally did a boot drive up in town with the people of Kearny New Jersey donated about 26 thousand dollars. Now that we had the money, we had to figure out how to get it to the people that needed it the most, says Tommy Atwell, a New Jersey firefighter. The New Jersey firemen didn't hesitate to travel to the Coast to help people gut out there homes and are eager to repay the help Mississippi firefighters had once given them in their time of need. Their commitment to the coast is what has brought them back here once again.
The Necaise family lost their Henderson Point home to Katrina and when the firemen heard their story they knew their mission was to return to South Mississippi. "They told me when I was ready to build my house that they would come and help. And these men kept their word," says Rusty Necaise. The 14 firefighters have been on the coast for several days working day in and day out to help get the family into their home. "We have six FEMA trailers over there that we've been staying in and we bunked up inside and some of them are on the floor and we loaded up in the FEMA campers," says Dawn Necaise. "They've got a goal of what they want to accomplish before they leave, and I can't talk them out of working. It touches your heart to help, it really does," says Rusty Necasie.
While the firemen are spending several hours a day working, they have had time to play. The Necaises took them to a Mardi Gras parade, a gulf coast casino and today they had a big crawfish broil.