Residents of Rochester, New York, concerned after a devastating factory fire in its official sister city Alytus, Lithuania, donated $12,000 for salary bonuses to benefit Alytus’ firefighters, LTR Televizija reports.
On Thursday, the Alytus City Municipal Council approved using the donated funds to pay bonuses to the 89-member Alytus Fire and Rescue Service, LTR reports.
In October, firefighters fought the fire at Ekologistika tire recycling and storage facility in Alytus, population 57,281, for more than a week. A large portion of the facility’s roof collapsed, making conditions even more perilous for emergency responders, a fundraising appeal by International Sister Cities of Rochester states.
Poisonous levels of chemicals from the burning tires was released into the environment, according to health officials. However, despite the lack of breathing equipment and other protective measures, firefighters stood their ground against the stubborn blaze.
The bonuses will be awarded June 5 in honor of Father’s Day.