Thursday, January 28, 2010

This Email Is On Fire

As you know, we love getting emails.

We love it even more, when they are as awesome
as this one.

Read it.

You'll be happy you did.

Just walked back inside from rubbernecking at a big house fire a few doors down. It’s down a block, but so close that my house smells like a campfire. I could see the orange glow in the sky just over the roof peak of my neighbor. I came in because I was cold; the firefighters don’t have this option. They’re still working. Hard. It’s a big fire, and they’ll be busy for a while.

Here are some immediate thoughts I thought I’d share right now.

-Fires happen really, really fast. Faster than you think. Look around your house right now. Is it safe enough? Is your family safe? Is your stuff safe? If the answer is ‘maybe,’ get off your ass and take care of it. No excuses. Check your smoke detectors, service your furnace, check your chimneys. Seriously.

-The burning house was empty. Has been for a while. I don’t think anyone was hurt, but I can’t confirm that. I didn’t see any ambulances while I was lazily rubbernecking. If you own empty property in the area, check on it. Is it safe? Go check. This neighborhood is dense with houses, and, like I said, fire is fast. I saw a lot of guys braver than I’ll ever be risking their lives tonight so this abandoned house and the surrounding properties would be okay. There were two guys on a three-story-high ladder chopping at the roof from the outside while more guys were inside the third floor in extremely dense billowing smoke. I could only see their helmet lights, barely piercing the thick black fog. While they were doing this I worried that they would fall through the burned floor, or the steps would collapse, or they’d burn to death or suffocate. What they were doing was no joke...all to save a derelict house. If you have an empty run-down house you risk the lives of the firefighters and the lives of the decent houses in the immediate area. Take care of your property. Lock it up and button it down. Be responsible.

-The next time the local fire department has a fundraiser, donate. Whatever it is, a pancake breakfast, a boot at a red light, whatever...don’t hesitate. Give what you can and say a sincere thank you. Right now it's almost midnight and the wind chill is in the single digits and they’re still out there, risking their lives--for free, it’s volunteer--to keep us all safe. Do your part. Help them out. Take care of your property, give when you can, and consider volunteering. I’m scrawny and really nearsighted, but mostly I’m just chickenshit, and I’m sorry. I salute you guys, and I thank you.

We here at theNewk, would also like to say
thank you to the men and women that protect
us every day.

We don't say it enough, but we appreciate you daily.

Much respect.

photo taken by


Anonymous said...

Very well written...

Chris said...

Very well-put, and so true. Firefighters, police, EMTs, and all the others who serve communities deserve our gratitude everyday. When we need them, we are often are under too much stress to remember to thank them, but we want them to know how much they are appreciated. My son's house recently burned, and the fire crews worked for hours on a cold evening, saving what they could and his dogs. I didn't get to thank each of them, but want them to know: Thanks, folks, for being there. We really, really appreciated all that you did. You are a great crew, and I will never forget your work, bravery, and compassion, for it touched my heart.

Unknown said...

I was Pumping for this fire. It was very cold, wet, snowing, and lots of ice. I stood at the pump panel the whole time making sure my guys had all the water they needed. I cracked the back window open on the engine to try and get some heat from the cab. I can still feel the chill. We had a great stop on that fire.

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Thanks for the input. Keep it real.