COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL)— The survivor of a house fire in Columbus is making good on his mission to reward the crew at the station that came to his rescue. The fire, more than 10 years ago, caused $325,000 in damage.

“It was fully involved,” Firefighter Jeffrey Yepez told WRBL. “When we pulled out, we could see heavy black smoke. So, we knew it was pretty bad. We had to hurry up and get our gear on really, really quick. I mean, it was fast.”

Yepez was one of the firefighters that responded to the scene Sept. 28, 2012.

That day Jason Martin’s car burst into flames while he was working on repairs.

“It was the vehicle that I was working on when it caught on fire. Apparently, the fumes got sparked somehow. According to the investigation, it was my old refrigerator that may have sparked the fumes. I actually opened my garage door because I was like, ‘wow, the fumes are so bad here,” Martin said. “Right about that time I just heard it, ‘whoomp,’ spark up. I turn around and the whole car was on fire.”

Martin lost one of his four pets to the blaze. However, there were no other injuries. Martin also owns The Sleep Center of Columbus. Five years ago, he decided to give back to the station that responded during his time of crisis. A tradition he continued Monday morning, donating 16 beds, mattress protectors, and sets of sheets to Station 11.  

“To have the support of the community is a great thing for what we do. I mean, it makes us feel proud about our job and what we do on a daily basis,” Yepez said.

Capt. Joseph Hall says their crews work 24-hour shifts to keep Columbus safe, and having a good bed to come back to is paramount.  

“It’s just nice to be able to you know, once we do come back off the call, we are able to lay down. A nice mattress is very important so that we can get some decent sleep,” Capt. Hall shared.

Hall says the donations mean just as much as the recognition it comes from.

“It’s really important. I mean, it gives us a sense of appreciation that people in the community actually acknowledge us for what we do. Even though we have a job, we’re going to do it regardless, but when people actually acknowledge it, it actually makes us feel good. That sense for people to give back or to stop by and say, ‘hey, we appreciate what you done,'” Capt. Hall shared.

Martin says the donations are made possibly by Tempur-Pedic and his clientele, an opportunity he looks forward to continuing.