Rachael Steps Into Live Fire to Help Friend Denis Leary Raise Money for Fire Departments at 2nd FDNY Firefighter Challenge Event

by Rachael Ray Show Staff 3:00 AM, May 16, 2018

Aired May 16, 2018

It's no secret that Rach is always there for her friends!

On International Firefighters' Day (May 4, 2018), Denis Leary hosted the 2nd Annual Denis Leary FDNY Firefighter Challenge, which benefits The Leary Firefighters Foundation.

(Denis, who starred in the firefighting comedy-drama, "Rescue Me," started the foundation in honor of his late cousin and childhood friend who died fighting a Massachusetts fire in 1999.)

And Rach was there to support him!

(Along with other celebs, like Steve Buscemi, John Slattery and Maura Tierney.)

The annual challenge day gives civilians and celebrities a window into the intense training and scary challenges -- ranging from running into a live fire, walking into a burning high-rise, searching for missing victims and simulating a subway car rescue -- that brave firefighters endure on a daily basis.

“I can’t imagine anyone running into a burning building to save animals and children, people that they’re not even related to. I just can’t imagine being that brave, that tough, that cool,” Rach says.

“I get to put my money where my mouth," she continues, "because this year, I’m going through the paces at the FDNY Fire Academy, suiting up and literally running into burning buildings!”

Rach suited up with her rock star team -- her hubby John Cusimano, Chef Anne Burrell and former New York Jets star Nick Mangold -- to participate in four firefighter training challenges.

And no surprise, she and our show's amazing culinary team also brought food for everyone… and lots of it!

For lunch, there were THREE types of chili and sheet pan nachos. And for dinner, there was roasted chicken, an Italian-American salad, two types of burgers, two types of hot dogs and Rach's Spring Macaroni and Cheese!

And that's not all ...

There were also ice cream and cannoli food trucks for dessert!