Monday, August 13, 2012

A Necessary Reminder

I had several "fun" things I wanted to post about today, but something happened last night that has been on my mind all day.

About 11 pm last night, lightning started flashing as a thunderstorm rolled in.  The landscape around here can be described with 1 word - DRY.  We had a little rain earlier in the spring, causing grass to grow - grass that has now died and left abundant fuel for wildfires. My Love is a volunteer fireman so I reminded him to put his fire pager by the bed (which prevents the obnoxiously loud siren call from waking up the baby).  About 2:30 this morning, the pager went off.  We both expected the call to be for a wildfire.  We were wrong.

The call was for a structure fire - something we rarely have out here because our population density is very low.  Thankfully, Texas Forest Service had given our volunteer fire department a grant for structure fire gear (very different from fighting wildfires).  So My Love dressed in this new gear for the first time and headed out to the fire.

At this point, we had had some rainfall (Praise the Lord for that .35"!), so the fire trucks had to go the long way around to get to the fire (you just don't drive on caleche roads during a rain!).  Unfortunately, it took our guys over 30 minutes to get to the site.  The other fire departments were already on site, doing what they could to put out the fire.

But it was too late.  A historical ranch home built in the late 1800s burned to the ground. All that remains of the home and it's collection of family antiques, paintings, and irreplaceable memories is the rock walls.

That is not the worst, nor the reason it is on my mind.  The owner never made it out of the house.  One man escaped, burned and scraped with smoke inhalation damage, but she didn't.  We guess she must have run to save some personal momento and lost her life.

My Love dug through the rubble and helped pull what what left of her body from the ashes of her home. 

He and the other firemen were able to rescue some heirloom dishes, but not her. 

Please take this a reminder to check the batteries in your smoke detectors.  Perform fire escape practice.  And LEAVE everything behind.  Things can be replaced but your life cannot.

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