FRESNO, Calif. -- A local firefighter is creating clothing and apparel with other firefighters and first responders in mind - and a fallen friend is part of every piece that's made.
"When other firemen get our products, and they use it... I mean that's pretty cool," said Gabriel Lopez, a local firefighter who started the company Black Smoke Apparel with another firefighter back in 2014. His partner has since left the business, so Lopez creates and ships everything from his garage with the help of his wife and daughter.
"We've had people call and ask for our shipping department and I say yep that's me, and I'll ask for social media I'm like, yep, that's me too," he said. The company specializes in on-duty and off-duty apparel for firefighters and first responders.
On-duty products include fitted suspenders, radio straps, decontamination towels and other products intended to make a firefighter's work life easier (and save them crucial time). They also sell hats, shirts, mugs and other products that can be bought by non-firefighters who simply want to support a firefighter-owned company.
The logo, a fire hydrant with a mustache on it (which really took off after the mustache was added), is also an ode to a close friend. Dan Lopez-Galvan was killed in an off-duty accident in 2016. He was Lopez' captain and close friend, and was nicknamed "Fearless."
"It was only right that we named this logo fearless, and it was kind of a part of him going everywhere," Lopez said. "It's part of our captain, going nationwide... kind of means more than just a cool hydrant with a mustache. It actually has a meaning to us close friends and family, we love him."
For more about the company, click here.
Local firefighter creating apparel with first responders in mind