To The Editor,

Two weeks ago in the early morning I was awakened by noise; I made my way out to my living room to see a display of flashing lights in front of our building. My neighbors’ house across from me was on fire.

The first thing I did was gasp and sink into the chair by my patio door. I didn’t know them intimately, just a wave or occasional “Hi”, but I was devastated anyway seeing this happen to them. It was a side-by-side with a small apartment upstairs. Six people were left homeless, and a little dog was supposedly asphyxiated. Fortunately it was found a couple of days later hiding under the bed. Really! It survived.

What caught my attention was the activity going on outside my patio door.  The trucks and gear were actually partly in our little parking area. Firefighters were coming and going, dragging hoses, changing canisters they carried on their backs, maneuvering a huge extension ladder above the roof area – which was in full flame and smoke mode. Orders given and hoses moved. It was a very cold night and everything was freezing. A magnetic panel of some sort was being constantly attended, moving pieces around; imagine keeping track of everyone in the crew. I don’t really know how big our Fire Brigade is here in Hawkesbury, but these people know their business. They never stopped until near noon the next day.

The house is still standing, but the roof is gone and a lot of damage. What will happen next I have no idea? Fire can be so comforting, romantic, and practical; but when it’s let loose, it becomes an all-consuming beast. Everything today is pandemic. We have our heroes there for sure. I was just so taken with these people and how hard they struggled. Sure it’s their job and they are paid to do it. I just think they are amazing people. Very proud and grateful to know they’re on guard.

Barbara Woods, Hawkesbury