Fire invokes a primal fear in most people, including me. Heck, I’ll even freak out when my marshmallow catches fire and turns into a lump of coal on my stick. But the Dad in this story thinks that running into a burning building was just the right thing to do and nothing all that special. I think you’ll agree, he’s pretty badass…read on…
This is a story about my Father.
I’m awakened by my Mom around 1:30 am. “Get up, there’s a fire, we have to go outside.” she says. I’m freaking out but I don’t smell smoke. I assemble outside with my mother and younger brother and sister. Down the street a townhouse in the same row as ours is engulfed in flames.
I don’t see my Father around so I ask my Mom.
“He went to see if he could help.” she says. I can hear the nervousness in her voice, my Father is known to be rather bold. The story as it was told to me as an adult goes like this:
My Father arrives after the fire department and learns that a man is alive inside, possibly lost. The fire department won’t go in after the man because they do not feel that it is safe yet. My Dad is like, “Screw that.” and (clad in only his long-johns) breaks a window and enters the home. He finds the man at the top of the stairs, badly burned and unable to walk. He carries the man down the stairs and out the front door. The firemen treat my dad briefly for smoke inhalation and the cops take a statement.
The man he carried from the house died after a week in the hospital, but his family was grateful that he had a chance to say goodbye. The county awarded my dad a plaque and the cable company gave us free cable for a year. He never talks about it and it was so long ago that no one he knows or is aware that it ever happened.
About a week ago my 5 year old son asked me if superheroes were real. I told him the story of the day his Grandfather was a superhero and I almost couldn’t finish. I hope that one day my son will feel that kind of pride in me.
My Dad pulled a guy from a burning building and no one really knows.