Neighbors Come to Aid of Salisbury, N.C. Fire Department Following Tragedy

SALISBURY, N.C. -- In the hours following the Salisbury Millwork blaze that claimed two firefighters, numerous departments responded to assist their grieving neighbors.

Inside Salisbury Station 1, dozens of firefighters donned t-shirts, sweat-shirts, hats and jackets with departments other than the one they were at emblazoned on them.

According to Salisbury Public Information Officer Chris Kepley, firefighters from career departments in Charlotte, Concord, Kannapolis, Thomasville, Morrisville and Gastonia -- along with many of the area's volunteer departments -- arrived to lend a hand and honor their fallen brothers.

Those firefighters, Victor Isler, 40, and Justin Monroe, 19, were both part of the hose team that was first to respond to the blaze.

That crew's supervisor, Capt. Rick Barkley -- who was reported dead by various sources earlier today -- was expected to be released from North Carolina Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem earlier this night after suffering second and possibly third degree burns over three percent of his body.

At least two other firefighters were treated for first and second degree burns at Rowan Regional Medical Center.

Of those who lent a helping hand, Kepley said Charlotte PIO Rob Rob Brisley made her job easier and was willing to go out of his way to do anything that needed to be done.

"He has been a blessing," Kepley said.

On the assistance of the other departments, she said they couldn't have handled the steady day of calls that followed the tragedy without it.

"We're really had a tremendous network," she said. "Anything we've needed, someone's been there to help."

As for the healing process of Salisbury's firefighters and staff, Kepley said grief counselor from the American Red Cross had arrived earlier in the day. It is a process that she admitted would take a long time as the department was still trying to come to grips with what had happened mere hours earlier.

On Saturday, Kepley said the department plans to hold an afternoon debriefing and that later that day another press conference will most likely be held.

Funeral Information