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March 09, 2023

Gisele Fetterman joined firefighters to put out blaze in East Pittsburgh

Pennsylvania's former second lady, who is married to U.S. Sen. John Fetterman, joined a local fire department in December

Gisele Fetterman, the wife of U.S. Sen. John Fetterman, responded to the scene of an apartment fire in East Pittsburgh on Tuesday morning to help put out a three-alarm blaze.

Fetterman had joined her local volunteer fire company, Rivers Edge 113, late last year. On Tuesday, footage captured by Action News 4, the ABC-affiliate in Pittsburgh, showed her in action. 

The fire displaced about a dozen residents from four apartments located inside a building on the 600 block of Grandview Avenue.

Fetterman revealed that she had become a volunteer firefighter in December – just a few weeks before her husband was sworn into office. She urged people to consider donating to their local fire departments. 

Say hello to Rivers Edge 113 newest member 🫡❤️🚒 (still lots of work ahead but excited and ready to learn) Thank you...

Posted by Gisele Barreto Fetterman on Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Fetterman has been in the spotlight since John, 53, entered treatment last month for clinical depression, less than a year after he suffered a severe stroke that left him with auditory processing difficulties. Despite his health issues, the former Pennsylvania lieutenant governor and Braddock mayor defeated Republican Mehmet Oz in the general election last November, promising to fight for working-class communities.

In the days after Fetterman entered Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, his family's home in western Pennsylvania was surrounded by media trucks. To escape the attention, Gisele took the couple's kids on a road trip to Canada to visit Niagara Falls.

MORE NEWS: John Fetterman's decision to seek help for depression should be a tipping point for other men to do likewise

On Monday, John Fetterman's chief of staff, Adam Jentleson, said the senator is "well on his way to recovery." Jentleson shared photos of Fetterman on Twitter, adding that they were discussing legislation and other Senate business.

Gisele retweeted the update and said her husband's journey is an important step toward lifting the stigma around men seeking treatment for depression.

Gisele is originally from Brazil and received her green card in the U.S. in 2004. While living in Newark, she read an article about Fetterman's initiatives in Braddock and wrote him a letter inviting her to visit him. They were married a year later, and Gisele has been an activist for nutrition, food equity and immigrant rights amid her husband's political rise.

Fetterman, who has faced calls to resign since entering treatment, will to return to the Senate soon and will be "laser-focused" on Pennsylvania, Jentleson said.

On Thursday, Fetterman submitted questions for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's hearing on the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, which has impacted communities in western Pennsylvania.

"I'm working with my colleagues across both state and party lines to fight for the forgotten people of Pennsylvania and Ohio, hold Norfolk Southern responsible for the damage they've caused, and prevent similar disasters from happening in the future," Fetterman wrote in a statement to the committee.