North Myrtle Beach community raises thousands to help firefighter rebuild family business after fire

Grand Strand

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The community has stepped up and raised thousands of dollars to help a firefighter after his family lost his business in a fire.

Fairland Ferguson has known Leslie and David Reed for nearly 20 years.

Ferguson said the Reeds have been working to build their family agriculture feed and fencing business for the better part of two decades.

On the evening of June 21, though, the Reed family barn — which housed all of their work trucks, tractors, materials and equipment — went up in flames.

“The irony of it all,” Ferguson said, “David spends his life being the first one to show up when things like this happen, and they just had to stand there helplessly and watch what they’ve worked for, literally since I’ve known them.”

John Green is a fellow firefighter with David Reed and spends his days off working for him.

“Sometimes I forget that I get paid there,” Green said. “I work there most every day that I’m not here at the firehouse. He’s super passionate about it and it makes me passionate about it.”

Green described them as humble.

“It’s hard not to be close with Dave,” said Jay Ortiz, a North Myrtle Beach firefighter and department chaplain. “He will take the shirt off his back. It doesn’t matter what time of day; it doesn’t matter what the job is. He will roll up his sleeves and get in there with you.”

Ortiz started working at the North Myrtle Beach Department of Public Safety about the same time David Reed did 13 years ago.

“I know that he is trusting God,” Ortiz said.

After hearing about her friends’ financial loss, Ferguson started a GoFundMe to help the family rebuild the business they dedicated so many years to. Within days, the fundraiser amassed more than a fourth of its $40,000 goal.

“That $10,000 plus, it overwhelms Dave,” Ortiz said. “I talked to him earlier and its people showing love. That is what community is all about.”

Fellow firefighter, Lt. Ryan Marrs, said the department will be there when it’s time to rebuild.

“They’ll build back, and it will be even better than before,” he said. We’ll help him.”

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