Tulsa man gives back to the community helping soothe children's fears during area fires

TULSA, Okla. — Quick facts:

  • Stephen Maxwell has been showing up to a Tulsa fire station for years.
  • Firefighters have befriended Maxwell.
  • He now stocks firetrucks with teddy bears to give to children at the scenes of fires.
  • WATCH FOX23 Paris Holmes' full report above.
A local man with special needs has found a way to give back to the community by helping soothe the fears of children impacted by fire.
Stephen Maxwell’s family said they were surprised to find out he had been visiting Fire Station 29 near 71st and Lewis after work for the past four years.
Maxwell, 42, knows where all the stations are located in Tulsa.
He’s visited Station 29 every day after work for four years. Firefighter Jordan Barnett said Maxwell would just sit outside the station at first.
“Over a period of time, he got to the point where he would know guys’ names,” Barnett said. “He would know if a guy was not here. He would ask where that guy was. [He knew our firefighters] almost better than we did.”
Maxwell’s sister, Stacey Berry, said she didn’t even know he was making friendships with the firefighters, especially since she and Maxwell’s parents told him years ago not to visit fire stations.
“My parents and I were like, ‘Stephen, you can’t do that,’” Berry said. “That could be a safety issue. You could get in the way.”
Berry quickly found out, however, that her brother was anything but in the way.
“When he’s not here,” a firefighter told FOX23, “we’re wondering where Stephen is at.”
Because of the acceptance he’s received from firefighters, Maxwell has found a way to help them help others.
He stocks their truck with teddy bears to give to scared children at the scenes of area fires, trying to show the smallest victims the same love and support he’s received from his friends at Fire Station 29.
“I just like to help out,” he said.

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