Durham Bulls honor first responders at Wednesday's game

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Durham Bulls used Wednesday's home game against the Norfolk Tides to show first responders how much the Bull City appreciates them.

All first responders, including those who helped evacuate businesses on Duke Street before the deadly gas explosion last month, were granted free admission.

A portion of the proceeds will go to the Durham One Fund to support those affected by the April 10 explosion.

Durham firefighters, including Darren Wheeler, who was injured in the blast, received special recognition during the second inning.

"We got as many folks as we could out," said Captain Phillip Faucette, who threw out the first pitch.

His Engine One initially responded to the gas leak and was already there when the explosion happened.

"I wish- I wish the incident hadn't happened," he said. "But I think it's awesome to see everybody rally around."

Two people were killed by the explosion, 25 were injured and 15 buildings were damaged.

As first responders enjoyed a day at the ballpark dedicated to them, cleanup is well underway at the site of the blast only blocks away.

"We like to kind of hide in the shadows I think most of the time and don't feel like we really need it," said Durham Fire Capt. Jimie Wright. "But deep down I think it does make you feel good and proud to be on the Durham Fire Department."
Copyright © 2019 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.