Have you ever woke up to a phone call in the middle of the night?
It’s pretty much the worst, isn’t it?!
I had only been asleep for about an hour on Thursday when my old familiar ringtone started blaring from the other room.
(I’m not sure why I didn’t have my phone sitting on my nightstand, but that’s beside the point!)
We generally go to roost pretty early around here, and I was wondering (kind of annoyed, actually) who would possibly be calling us at midnight.
As I fumbled around in the dark, still half-asleep, groggily trying to answer my stupid phone, I started to notice the strong smell of smoke and the reflection of orange flames flickering on the living room wall — and if that doesn’t wake you up in a hurry, I don’t know what will!
It turns out, the phone call was my neighbor informing us that there was a major fire in the field down the road from us!
Talk about a nightmare!
About an hour later though, the whole neighborhood (which really only consists of us and two other families) was congregated safe and sound next to a massive firetruck, with its red lights just a-flashing and its big old diesel engine just a-rumbling.
Ash was coming down like a snow storm, soot-stained Holsteins were bellowing and wandering all over the place, and the whole scene was illuminated by the smoking coals of what used to be our neighbor’s welding shop — but miraculously, no one was hurt (not even one of the cows) and no homes were lost.
It was a scary deal for sure.
Such a terrible feeling, going up against hell itself…
But to tell you the truth, I didn’t even really do anything. By the time we got the phone call, the fire department was already there, hosing things down.
Kind of anti-climactic, really.
In the days since the fire, however, I’ve been thinking about all sorts of things — all sorts of what ifs:
What if our neighbors hadn’t noticed the fire?
What if the wind was blowing the other direction?
What if the fire department had arrived just 5 minutes later?
What if they hadn’t arrived at all?
Kind of some sobering thoughts…
At the end of the day, though, the thought that keeps coming back to me is that I’m so grateful for the brave guys who volunteer to fight fires.
I know this blog doesn’t reach much of an audience, but to all you firefighters out there, thank you!
For what it’s worth, you’re all heroes in my book!