Firefighters from around Connecticut are giving each other and the public a chance to help one of their own who was seriously injured in the B-17 Flying Fortress crash on Oct. 2 that killed seven.
Simsbury and Tariffville volunteer firefighter and EMS Joseph “JT” Huber was one of five passengers aboard the war bird when it crashed while trying to return to Bradley International Airport minutes after the plane took off.
The pilot and co-pilot were killed along with five passengers.
Five other passengers including Huber and an airport employee suffered varying degrees of injuries. Simsbury firefighter Jim Traficante was also injured but has been recovering at home, according to the Simsbury Volunteer Fire Company Facebook page.
Huber suffered serious burns to over 40 percent of his body and has been recovering at the Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital, according to the Connecticut Firefighters Charitable Foundation. The foundation has been seeing to the needs of his family as they stay in a family suite within the burn center and have been working with the Simsbury Fire Department to provide support during his recovery, foundation officials said.
Both organizations are spreading the word throughout the state that the Simsbury Volunteer Fire Company has set up a PayPal account dedicated to JT and his family to help in what is expected to be a long recovery.
"Over the last few weeks, there has been an outpouring of community support and requests to help," Simsbury firefighters said. "The SVFC has established a fund to assist our firefighters and their families with any needs as they recover."
To make a donation, people can visit https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr…
Or a check can be made payable to the Simsbury Firefighters Charitable Fund and mailed to the Simsbury Volunteer Fire Company, Attn: Simsbury Firefighters Charitable Fund
871 Hopmeadow St., Simsbury, CT 06070.
The Liberty Bank branch at 981 Hopmeadow St., Simsbury, is also be accepting donations.
The cause of the crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.
Huber and Traficante were among 10 passengers who paid a $450 donation to ride the warbird for a short period as part of the Collings Foundation "Wings of Freedom" tour visiting Bradley that week.
The foundation, which owned the plane, suspended the rest of their flight schedule for 2019 after the crash.