Paramedic's home destroyed by fire, community rallies to help

In seven days, $19,386 has been donated to help Youzi Picart get back on her feet

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A Rural/Metro paramedic's home was declared a total loss and all of her belongings were destroyed in a fire Tuesday night. reported that within hours, paramedic Youzi Picart's friends and colleagues set up a GoFundMe account to collect donations so she and her son can start rebuilding. In seven days, $19,386 has been donated to help Picart get back on her feet.

Friends and colleagues say it's a testament to the type of person Picart is.

"We feel like it's our turn, our time to turn around and help her in the way that she has helped us," Leigh Murtha, a Rural/ Metro paramedic, said.

Friends described the single mom as a long-time first responder who is selfless and compassionate. They said she's strong-willed and wouldn't admit that she needs help.

"You see it on the news, and you move on with your day but there's a story behind those fires. And in this case it's one of our own. It's someone who responds in their time of need who is now in the reverse situation," Jay Smith, regional director for Rural/Metro Western New York, said.

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