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Dealing With Disasters

January 17, 2014

EineBCInaIt was 27 years tonight that I got home from work, got some dinner and was tired to turn in early. It was a Saturday night, like tonight, cold. Shivered as I stoked up the woodstove and was ready to turn in early after a long week.

I got a call from someone I’d talked to a couple times before but hadn’t met. Could I come in to town for a drink. Meh, that wouldn’t be too late. I made sure the cats were in and put Teaser, my fox terrier, recently acquired, in the bathroom.

SnohomishRivernrMonroeI got dressed, thankful the truck was working again after having the master cylinder repaired. After a short visit, we parted ways and I stopped in at the Grange Hall for a few minutes. I heard sirens going by and thought it an inhospitable time for them to be out. Anxious to get home, I headed a few miles north for some shuteye.

That was not going to happen.The house was engulfed in flames. I parked and neighbors and firemen pulled me back down the driveway, thinking I had been inside. The fire chief said if I had I would not have made it out. They did everything they could.

Because it was a three day weekend, I got a room via the Red Cross. A man at a local salvage shop I frequented set me up with some clothes and dog food for my remaining dogs. Teaser was killed, and they never found the cats. The images still play in my head 27 years later.

DukeJanpupThe snow falling, shivering beyond the cold sitting in the Chief’s rig with the heater going, surreal snapshots and relief at finding two of my outside dogs safe. Irreplaceable momentos were gone, but I found the best neighbors I’ve had since being on my own.

And it’s the night I think of batteries in smoke detectors, maintenance of heaters and fire prevention warnings to friends. It’s the night I remember not only the Monroe Fire Department but all who respond in a time of need. It’s the night I’m a little extra “paranoid”. Life goes on but it never goes away.

Think over fire prevention measures. Hope you don’t need it. For home or barn or the entire farm, it’s too often overlooked until needed.

Don’t overlook it.


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