PISCATAWAY, NJ – Joseph Keleman’s gofundme campaign is trending because in the past four days, 54 people have raised $4,290 of the $50K goal for the Piscataway resident who was critically injured after his home exploded early Sunday morning, June 11.
"The force of the blast completely leveled the home which was fully engulfed in flames by the time fire fighters arrived on scene," said Mayor Brian Wahler.
Keleman was immediately transported to the burn unit at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in critical condition and “experienced deep second-degree burns on 28% of his body, and multiple lacerations on his face and head,” said Irene Fiorentino, Keleman's sister in the fundraiser campaign’s story section.
Fiorentino added that her brother also had 3 cats, Michael, Butterfly, and Itsybitsy. Only Michael and Butterfly survived. Sadly, Itsybitsy succumbed to the explosion and fire.
“My brother has lost everything, and as most of you know, some things are irreplaceable,” she said.
Keleman who is employed with the Dunellen Department of Public Works has been a volunteer firefighter in Dunellen for over 25 years.
“Everyone who knows Joey will describe him as being an extremely kind and giving person,” said Fiorento. “Whatever you need, Joey is always there with a lending hand. He would give you the shirt off his back.”
According to the family, Keleman may need to have multiple skin graft surgeries and significant physical therapy. His road to recovery will be a long and difficult process.
For more information and to contribute to the fundraiser, visit the gofundme page, www.gofundme.com/JoeKeleman.
Donations can also be mailed to Joe Keleman, Dunellen Fire Department, 231 S. Madison Ave., Dunellen N.J. 08812 (with a check payable to Joe Keleman). Donations also can be dropped off in person in the mailbox at the front of the fire house.
Well wishes and cards can be sent to Joe Keleman, P.O Box 61, Dunellen, N.J. 08812 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.