As the smoke was pouring out of the back kitchen window I asked the neighbor if there was anyone inside. She hollered, “They have 2 little boys, they were just here outback like 5 minutes ago”.
I knew that if I didn’t do something I wouldn’t be able to live with myself for not trying…..
Before I tell you the story, I am not a hero. I don’t want anyone to think I did anything that anyone else wouldn’t have done.
I picked up my son on Wednesday and we arrived home with the usual desire to play video games. As I walked around our car port I noticed some smoke from the next row of condos over from us. I thought at first someone had just lit a grill, it was fairly warm that day.
Then the smell hit me. I had smelled this before, smoke from a house fire.
When I was 17 I was still living at home and working a part-time night job. One night while at work my parents came to inform me that our trailer had burnt down. My step father glared at me.
“You were the last one in there, did you leave a cigarette burning” he asked.
No. I was sure I wasn’t.
“Your going to have to find someplace to stay, we have nothing left”, I was told.
I went to a friends and went there the next morning. There was absolutely nothing left. Everything was gone.
I remember the smells of burnt clothing, wood, plastics. Water dripping and finding a couple of shirts and a pair of pants…that was it.
I was blamed for that fire for the next few days until the Fire Departments report came in. The hot water tank had ruptured and caused an electrical short.
No one ever apologized, not even to this day.
So when I realized this place was on fire I saw a lady standing on the corner. As I ran to the condo I told her to call the fire department. There was a car outback of the place and I ran through the gate. Smoke was pouring out of the kitchen window. I beat on the sliding glass door and could see nothing inside. I came back out of the back area when I saw the neighbor and she informed me of the 2 boys. I ran back to the back door and put my shoulder into it. Nothing, I did it 2 more times until the entire sliding glass door gave way and fell inward into the kitchen.
I was greeted with a large amount of smoke. I got as low as I could and started to holler if anyone was in there. I listened and heard nothing. I tried to crawl inside but the smoke was so thick I could barely see two feet in front of me. I hollered several more times and heard nothing.
I began to hear glass popping out of the windows and I saw flames dancing across the kitchen ceiling. I knew if I went in any further I would not make it out. In less than a minute and a half it had went from smoldering to fully involved in front of my eyes.
The fire department arrived and asked if there was anyone inside. I told them I was told there were 2 kids in the area but did not know if they were inside or not. The fireman made quick work of getting in and putting the fire out. Fortunately the boys weren’t inside. The had went for a walk with the mother down at a small park where I live. I was told later that a dog was pulled out and revived, and the cause of the fire was candles burning left unattended. Here are 2 pictures a neighbor took.
I went home quietly and full of emotion as I was glad that no one was hurt. Our neighborhood is taking up a collection for these folks as they have lost everything, except the family dog.
We went to our daughter’s doctors appointment yesterday. We talked about the 18-year-old boyfriend and how we did not approve and felt she needed to break it off. There were a lot of tears and some resistance from Lorna. The doctor sat with us as we talked through it and tried to make some sense of it all. Lorna told us that she was going to break it off. We will see. I know the guy is not welcome at our house.
My wife’s mother called last night and said our family had put a bid on the house down south. I’m not sure what to make of it all.
I did find out that our rent is going up in April. Dues have been raised and it’s not worth the amount to me, so I guess it’s just another hint of doing the right thing.
I hope you all enjoy your weekend.
Take Care…Bob D.