Local hero recovering after May fire

Published 5:26 pm Wednesday, June 21, 2023

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Greenville native Captain Donald Crenshaw, Jr. is focused on recovery, after sustaining severe injuries while working a fatal house fire on May 14. 

On Mother’s day Sunday, around 8:05 p.m., the Montgomery Fire and Rescue responded to a 911 call that led them to the 3400 block of Gilmer Avenue, where two individuals were trapped inside a residence fully engulfed in flames. The fire claimed the life of a 6 year old juvenile, and seriously injured five firefighters, including Crenshaw who sustained injuries over 20% of his body, mostly to his upper extremities. 

“Fire did what fire does,” he said. “I’m focused on healing and recovering. I could have never imagined the outpouring of love and well wishes I have received, and I am thankful for them all.

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Crenshaw received intensive burn care treatment and fluid replacement at UAB in Birmingham and because of the treatment, experienced no respiratory failures. 

He returned home on May 31 to a hero’s reception and continues his recovery with the overwhelming support of his family and community. Crenshaw has been depending on the support of his family through his recovery, and is thankful for them all.  “Faith can move mountains,” said his sister Bettdonna Mack. “We are thankful he is home doing well.”

Crenshaw is a 1996 graduate of Greenville High School, and was a part of the legendary state championship team of 1994. He is the son of Donald and Betty Crenshaw of Greenville. Affectionately known as “Pooh” to some and “G-Thang” to others throughout the community, Crenshaw is a man of few words, but bountiful in action.” 

“Continue to pray for the recovery of my fellow firefighters as well,” he added. “Some are headed back to work, while one is still hospitalized.”

Crenshaw said he is grateful for the support from the department shown to his daughter Dakota throughout this journey. The brotherhood of firemen even showed up in his absence for a very important day at her school in Hampton, Georgia. 

“It really made her day,” he said.

Crenshaw is a 22 year veteran with Montgomery Fire and Rescue, joining in 2001. 

“I saw an opportunity to pursue a great career with excellent benefits, which also meant putting my life on the line to help others,” he said. “I am built for it.” 

His Brother Nick is never too far behind Crenshaw and said, “Your words, your days, your time…make ‘em count.”