NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The North Haven fire department hosted another fundraiser in honor of a firefighter who died after battling a fire in December. 

Matthias Wirtz passed away from his injuries after battling a fire in North Haven on Dec. 26. A 22-year veteran of the fire department, Wirtz was known for his passion to help. 

“Matt has been our hero for 21 years. He’s always been our hero and now we share him with everyone else,” said Barbara Cardito, Wirtz’s wife. “One gentleman said to me, ‘Matt saved my daughter’s life.’ Another gentleman came up to me and said ‘Matt saved my life when I was having a heart attack.'”

The fundraiser was at La Lupa’s on Washington Street. From 1pm-8pm, 25% of the proceeds from the main dining area, bar and takeout was donated to the family. The Wirtz family said they are grateful to have such a supportive community to fall back on. 

“It’s been really overwhelming; everyone has been just so wonderful,” said Alex Springer, Wirtz’s stepdaughter. “It’s nice to know that this whole community has our back.”

“Between the fire department, our friends, our family, the nurses from 35 north, I can’t thank all of you enough for helping us stand,” said Cardito. “All of these people have so much love and respect for Matt.”

The North Haven Fire Department has been hosting fundraisers at local restaurants to support the family. At a fundraiser at J Roo’s in North Haven, the department raised $10,000. 

Another fundraiser will be at Ludol’s on April 30.