Matt's Saloon, on Whiskey Row, is the type of place where the locals work and play; where dogs belly up next to the bar with their owners; now where folks from around town come to remember the lost.
"We went to elementary school together," said Alicia McCarthy, referring to 28-year-old victim Scott Norris.
McCarthy, who works as a bartender at Matt's Saloon, always knew Norris was going to be a firefighter.
"I thought he was so perfect for that job. (He's) the only one I could ever imagine doing that job, and he loved it," she said. The news of the tragedy was especially hard for McCarthy.
"It was terrible. I think I cried until Monday afternoon," she said between tears.
McCarthy knew she wanted to help. So, she said she is donating all of her tips from earlier this week to help out the victims' families.
Matt Vrassard, who co-owns the bar, also wanted to help. One of his former bartenders is the wife of 23-year-old victim Robert Caldwell.
"Our heart just sank for her, and for the rest of the 18. It was just such hard news to hear," he said. Vrassard had T-shirts made to memorialize the victims. He ordered them Monday and started selling them Thursday.
"One hundred percent of the proceeds will go toward the charity," he said.
Already, most of the T-shirts have sold out. The bar has raised more than $3000 for the families.
"It's not much but at least it's something, but it can help with whatever they would need it for. So I just figured any little bit probably helps," said McCarthy.
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