Volunteer turns tree stump outside fire station into work of art

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- One of South Bend's fire stations is getting a pretty unique sculpture in front of the station. A Good Samaritan is turning an old tree stump into a work of art.

Victor Riley wanted to give back to the firefighters who risk their lives every day.

“Saving lives are what these guys are all about so every time they leave and when I hear the sirens go I'm thinking, ‘What are they going to? Are they going to come back safe?’” said Riley.

Those questions are what led Riley to the front lawn of South Bend Fire Station Number 6 where he is making art out of a dead tree.

"When I see a tree, it gives me an image. Steve here at the fire station said they had a tree that had to come down. I don't kill real trees because I'm a tree hugger,” said Riley. “When I'm cutting deep I'm going back in time. I'm actually smelling different fragrances like barn yards and horses, the air that's being released from these trees."

When he saw this grand oak at the fire station he immediately envisioned a firefighter carrying a little girl out of a fire.  

He hopes that every time the firemen get called out, they will see the carved tree and remember that the community respects their bravery.

"But there's my legacy (points to tree) for the firefighters and I certainly appreciate them all,” said Riley.

Victor expects to be finished in two more weekends

Share this article: