The flames swept past my face with heat that made my eyes water.
What was I doing here?
Someone needed me here, I just knew it. I had to keep searching for them. The first floor was clear and I headed upstairs to search more. The others wouldn’t get here fast enough to save them. I wish I had my gear with me. This fire is raging hot now.
Room after room I searched while the flames chased my footsteps. It was getting faster by the minute and I was running low on oxygen up here.
I found a bathroom and grabbed a towel hanging by a shower and soaked with water. I was turning to leave when I heard a whimper coming from the closet by the door.
Yanking the door open I felt my heart drop, a scared Husky hiding with a small child in the bottom of
the closet. The child I reached for only to have the dog growl at me. I looked the dog dead square in the eyes and calmly told him, “It’s okay guy. We’re getting out of here. Come on.”
With that I picked up the child and draped the towel over both our heads and left the room. The dog was right on my heels as we made our way closer to freedom. I saw a window at the end of the hall and ran to it.
I placed the child down on the carpet and left the towel over her head. Turning my efforts to the window, I tried with all I had to open the window. It wouldn’t budge. This house was old and going up in flames quickly. I had little time left to escape. I was glad to tell my wife I loved her before running into the fire.
I had to get the child out of here. The dog would follow as long as he held consciousness.
Turning sideways, I threw my elbow against the glass.
“Yes!” I turned all my efforts against this window. I would not be trapped by it.
With the second blow the glass shattered outward spraying glass towards the grass below. I pushed the remaining glass out and hung out the window and called out, “Over here!”
I continued calling out until I saw my wife’s eyes across the street. I waved my arm and caught her attention. She immediately sprinted to me.
The child was coughing now. I hadn’t noticed the smoke pouring out the window. We had only seconds to get out. First the kid.
“I’m going to hand a kid down to you. You have to catch her.” We had been married for 17 years; she knew the drill.
I grabbed the kid and faced her to me. She was too weak to stand on her own. Scooping her into my arms, I placed her feet outside the house and lowered her down as far as I could. With a gentle swing outward I placed my trust with my wife.
The child seemed to fall perfectly into her arms. My wife was quick to rush her away from the burning building. You learn a thing or two being married to a firefighter.
Now I had to get the Husky and myself out.
I removed as much glass as I could from the windowsill. This was going to hurt.
Holding out my arms I called the dog, “Come on boy.”
The dog knew what I was thinking and hesitated. I couldn’t afford to wait.
This time the dog leapt into my arms. I smelled burnt hair and knew I couldn’t stay a second longer.
Swinging my leg out the window while trying to balance this huge dog proved difficult. Desperation was on my side. I managed to get my other leg out the window and fell.
The ground came faster than I wanted it to.
The extra weight of the dog prevented me from doing a roll as I hit the ground. Instead a dull thud was the last thing I heard as the wind was knocked from me. My head hit something hard and my world went black.
The first thing I saw when I woke was my wife asleep in the chair beside me.
My wife woke up with a start and leaned in to face me. “About time you woke up.” She was crying now.
“How long have I been out?”
“A day and a half. Can you move your toes and fingers?”
I wiggled my toes and fingers. It felt good to move again. I always get stiff while sleeping.
My wife pushed the nurse call button. I had never seen her so happy.
The nurse soon came in the room and began poking and prodding me. Testing this and checking that. When she was done she went and got the doctor on call and he soon came and did some more testing and poking. Satisfied he left after speaking to us about his concerns.
I soon fell back asleep. I had never felt more tired in all my life.
The next day word spread that I was awake and friends and family were soon taking turns visiting me.
At one o’clock, a nurse came into the room and said that I had a special visitor. I told her to bring them in. She went to the door and waved someone in.
The first thing I saw was a big black nose. A dog? Then the young girl walked in next and I felt my heart jump in my chest. She was okay.
She ran across the room and gave me a big hug, “Thank you for saving my dog.”
I cried tears of happiness that day.