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Sun Prairie firefighter Ryan Welch recovering, thankful for community support

A community backing their firefighter, with a benefit for Ryan Welch — the firefighter who was hurt in the explosion in Sun Prairie

A group of girls who had never met him came up with the idea of a fundraiser for Welch’s family, which was held Friday night at Callahan’s Sports Pub in Madison. The girls said they just wanted to help the Welches in their time of need.

"I was really shocked and felt really bad," Aspin Kelliher, one of the organizers, said. "I wanted to do something to make him feel better."

Welch, a Sun Prairie firefighter of five years, is just itching to get back to work, but the recovery is getting in the way.

"It’s been a little long but I’m coming along," Welch said. "I feel a lot better than what I did obviously from day one but I still got a little ways to go, but hopefully not too much longer so I can get back to doing what I love."

Doing what he loves, helping the community. Now his community is helping him, something he can’t appreciate enough.

"You know I just want everyone to know that this is why I do what I do, it’s to support the community," Welch said. "I’m very thankful for the community to help us all back, not just me but the city of Sun Prairie and and the other families that are affected."

At this point, Welch is just counting the days until he can don his coat again.

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