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Firefighters donate $9,000 to West Palm Beach gay bar

H.G. Rooster's set to rebuild after fire caused major damage
West Palm Beach Firefighters donate $9,000 to H.G. Rooster's to help them rebuild their LBGTQ+ bar.
Posted at 11:24 AM, Jul 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-02 11:37:24-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Only on WPTV NewsChannel 5, the same firefighters who helped save West Palm Beach's only LGBTQ+ bar just donated $9,000 from their own pockets to help rebuild the establishment.

Back in May, investigators said chemicals in a bunch of ranges spontaneously ignited and caused H.G. Rooster's to catch fire.

On Thursday, the West Palm Beach Firefighters Association presented the bar's owner, AJ Wasson, with a big check.

Firefighters and paramedics each donated $100 of their own money.

"If it weren't for them the place would have been completely gone," said Wasson.

"This was really nice to be off-duty, to do something above and beyond and really be able to see a difference we can make in the community," said Jayson French with the West Palm Beach Firefighters Association.

H.G. Rooster's let its insurance lapse when the coronavirus pandemic forced them to close so they could pay employees.

Rooster's has also raised tens of thousands of dollars through GoFundMe and several other fundraisers.

Wasson said it may cost more than $500,000 to rebuild, but he's vowing to do it soon.