06/09/2012 07:27 EDT | Updated 08/09/2012 05:12 EDT

Prince George firefighters raise money for burn victims

Firefighters in Prince George, B.C., held their annual Firefighter Burn Fund Barbeque on Friday — about six weeks after an explosion at a local sawmill killed two people and injured 24.

Firefighter Paul Knudsgaard says the fire at the Lakeland Mills sawmill brought a lot of need for the burn fund, with several workers receiving severe burns.

"A couple of the Lakeland patients actually benefitted directly from the assistance they received from the burn ward in Vancouver," he said.

Prince George residents gathered at city hall on Friday to buy hamburgers to support the cause, with the proceeds going to the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund.

Knudsgaard says it's been a difficult year for first responders.

"We've definitely seen our share of burn patients and whenever we deal with those, we're all affected by it," he said. "But it's events like this that allow us to give back and help those who are affected."

Firefighters hope to raise $10,000 for the fund this year. As part of the effort, Knudsgaard and other firefighters plan to cycle from Prince George to Jasper later this summer.