ONLY ON 5: Cleveland firefighters rescue stranded photographer by raising money to buy him a new car

Posted at 10:19 AM, Apr 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-30 14:16:17-04

It is the story of a unique rescue by some first responders in Northeast Ohio.      

They stepped up to help a familiar face they're used to seeing in emergencies.

He was missing for a while, but is back on the road thanks to some true heroes.

Wearing a coat with his name in neon on the back like the brave first responders he follows, Robert Burrow gets behind the wheel of his brand new Nissan Sentra.

“I’m still in awe about this,” said Burrow.

For 30 years, Burrow has been using his camera to chronicle firefighting in the City of Cleveland without expecting anything in return.

RELATED: Firefighters raise money to fix car for photographer who's been following them around for decades

Right now, he has more than 20,000 pictures on Facebook alone.

"Before Robert Burrow started taking pictures I had very few pictures that memorialized anything that I've done," said Greg Glauner, Cleveland Fire Department.

When the retired 66-year old stopped showing up at scenes earlier this year, firefighters started calling him.

"’Where ya at?’ I said my car is broke down. So the chief started a Go Fund Me," said Burrow.

The original goal was to raise $5,000 to fix burrow's 2005 Dodge Neon, but so many people wanted to help get the photographer back on the road things quickly changed.

"People were so generous, the donations came so rapidly, we decided to replace the vehicle with something much better," said Glauner.

Now after a short break from the action, the first since 1988, Burrow is now back in business.

"They can look at this and look back 20 years from now and say 'this is what I did when I was on the job,’" said Burrow.

Burrow tells News 5 he used to think the firefighters did not like him too much. It's safe to say that’s not the case anymore.

"This really shows me that they really do appreciate it," said Burrow.

The chief's crowdfunding campaign raised more than $13,000 for a new ride.

Metro Toyota on Brook Park Road picked up the difference to help Burrow return to clicking his camera at fire scenes across the city.

Burrow didn’t waste any time. He was back to fire chasing in his new car Saturday afternoon.