An injured Ian Barnard meets President Jacob Zuma during Zuma's visit to areas affected by the devastating fires last week. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS
Durban – The family of firefighter Ian Barnard, who was injured fighting the fires that ravaged the Western Cape last week, say they have been overwhelmed by a flood of support and donations.

Stephanie Barnard said her husband Ian – a volunteer firefighter – is due for another skin graft on Monday after suffering third degree burns in a Plettenberg Bay fire.

A fund-raising campaign started by his cousins Jaq and Jonny Kennedy on crowdfunding website You Caring, has raised £1250 (about R20 500).

The site reports that Barnard was injured after taking off his protective gear to throw it over fellow firefighter Bradley Richards, 24, who he dragged away from the fire.

“This resulted in third degree burns to his face and hands, serious enough to require treatment in the ICU for a number of days. Brad’s injuries were even more severe and, tragically, he lost his fight a few days later.”

Stephanie said the incident happened on June 7, the birthday of their two children, Skyla, 3, and Jayden, 6.

Although Barnard was healing well and faster than expected, Stephanie said Richards’s death was taking a toll on him emotionally.

“They were like brothers, they did everything together; that’s why they were at the fire together,” she said.

Stephen Ritky of the Plett South Fire Management Unit for which both men volunteered, said in tribute to the men that they wanted to build well-managed, well-resourced fire-management units.

The Mercury