FORT PIERCE, Fla. - Event organizers were still packing up at Big Apple Pizza in Fort Pierce around 11:00 p.m., an hour after a fundraiser ended Wednesday for a Martin County firefighter burned in the line of duty.
"Jahwann used to volunteer for our non-profit organization when he was a teenager, so this is our way of giving back to him," said Scott van Duzer, the owner of Big Apple.
Van Duzer said about $18,000 was raised to help with Jahwann's medical bills.
Hundreds came to dine, with proceeds going to the 22-year-old firefighter who was burned in a house-fire on December 27th.
Officials say that fire was arson, committed by the previous homeowner, Joseph Haas
His mother, Ann McIntyre, and his cousin, Corey McIntyre, an NFL running back for the Buffalo Bills, say they are proud of Jahwann.
"My prayers are with you, a, I love you. There's a lot of people out here that love and support you," his mother said to him through the NewsChannel 5 television camera.
"I'm behind him all the way," said Corey. "He's a McIntyre, and that's what we do, we fight!"
His mother said Jahwann underwent another six-hour skin graft surgery Wednesday. She said he still has a long road to recovery after receiving severe burns over 40% of his body.