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An anniversary of an experience that literally changed my life...

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  • An anniversary of an experience that literally changed my life...

    Not to be overly dramatic or anything....(besides, I did this same thing last year...)

    December 17, 1968, a day that lives in my own personal infamy...

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Fire p 1.jpg Views:	0 Size:	1.82 MB ID:	41394
    51 years ago today, it was also a Tuesday that year. I was a Freshman in high school. My brothers were both home, so was Dad. They all got out okay. Brothers' bedroom was upstairs; destroyed with the rest of the top floor.

    After the salvage/mop up was complete, we were rescuing whatever could be saved from the downstairs. There was a pile of burned and unburned debris in the dooryard, from the library upstairs. Sitting on top of the pile, in almost pristine store-bought freshness, was an edition of National Geographic Magazine from Dad's collection (mostly destroyed in the fire)....the cover article: "Forest Fire: the Devil's Picnic".

    Until that day I wanted to be a city/urban fire fighter. When that particular issue of that magazine had a blazing forest fire on the cover, and the feature article was about forest fires....and was the sole survivor of an extensive NatGeo collection destroyed by a fire...I took it as a sign I was to go in a slightly different direction. Which I did.

    (At least, that's the folklore I have carried with me to this day, to explain (to myself?) why I chose to go fight "vegetation fires" as I've heard them called 'down under', rather than follow my dream into a city station...)

  • #2
    Strange how details of home fires are something we don't forget even all these years later, it is good to hear that your experience led you into choosing a career of service to the communities and the nation.

    Our families house fire when I was a child didn't move me into a great career like yours, as I only had a strong fondness of fire apparatus, and highly respect the firefighters, but I do remember all the details of the fire, like lunch hour that day in the schoolyard not too far from home, and excited to hear all the firetrucks sirens from different directions coming nearby and wishing I could see where they are all going, only to discover at the end of the day, after the walk home from school, the strange sight of the family and neighbors all out front of our house, and seeing piles of burnt rubble filling our driveway, and later learning the fire was at lunchtime. After that I think I may have wanted to become a firefighter when I grew up, but life kind of led me into different directions.


    • #3
      You have shared this story before and always glad to read it again - first thankful that your family all survived and secondly that through it and that old National Geographic magazine you were guided to the career that you were gifted to do! Glad you are here Blair and so enjoy all that you share with us in the apparatus bay (and other threads!).


      • #4

        I know you have shared this story before but its always neat to hear it again, and like any story of something that inspired us, was a significant event or just shaped us, with each telling of it you provide us with a bit more insight into how it effected you, your family and your career path. Glad to hear no one was injured and it's interesting to think about (for you or nay of us in public safety) how many families lives where effected and losses prevented by your choice of careers.