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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Fire-fighter (10/05/06)

TITLE: The Fire- Fighter
By Brita Skinner


He had the routine down. After twenty years he knew what to do and could do it in his sleep. But, he also knew that he had to be awake and alert. He had to be at his best if he was going to come out alive. He had a wife and three kids to take care of and he knew that they needed him.

As he slid down the pole he had the feeling that today was different. There was something different about this fire. He could not put his finger on what it was; there was just something about this day that was different some how.

And he jumped into his uniform; he grabbed his boots and his helmet. Jumping into his seat he quickly pulled on his boots and did up his helmet as the truck left the station. Turning he watched the streets race past him. The sirens blared in his ears and he could already smell the smoke from the fire as time and space slipped away from him.

As the truck stopped he said a prayer that no one was inside of this building and that the damage would be minimal and that today there would be no lives taken. That was the hardest part of this job, when a life was taken.

Opening the door he jumped out to be stopped in his tracks, he was standing in front of his own home. He had built this house for his wife on their 10 year anniversary. He had put his heart and soul into this house and watching it he knew that this was the event that was going to change his life and his family’s life forever.

“Is there anyone inside?” He yelled jumping into action.

“Everyone is out. They are all over there.” His captain said pointing to a waiting police cruiser. “Go and be with your family that is where you need to be.”

“Thanks captain.” He yelled as he ran to his wife as she stepped out of the cruiser. “Are you ok? Are the kids ok? What happened?” He asked as he pulled his wife into his arms.

“We are all ok. Shaken up and scared, but we are ok. I am just thankful that we were able to get out. I don’t know what happened. One minute I was getting the kids ready for bed and the next the alarm is going off and we are all running to get out of the house. All I remember is grabbing Amanda and running for the door with Terry and Sam right behind me. I know that was not the right thing to do but it was all I could think of. When we got outside I turned around and saw that the entire house was in flames and the front door was gone. How we got out I will never know. Our guardian angel was watching over us tonight.” His wife said as she pulled away to look at him. “I am so sorry, I know how hard you worked, how much you sacrificed to give us this beautiful home. This must be breaking your heart.”

“Dad!” His three kids yelled as they got out of the car and ran into his waiting arms.
Pulling them close he could smell the smoke that lingered in their hair, he could see their fear.

“The house can be replaced. I am just so thankful that you are all ok. I don’t know what I would have done if anything had happened to any of you.” He whispered as he kissed his wife and kids.

“God was looking out for us today. He is truly a magnificent God. He was the one who made sure that we were all ok. He knew that now was not our time that we each still had something very important left to do before we go home to him.” His wife replied pulling her husband and kids just a little bit closer to her.

He knew that she was right and he knew that there would come a time when each of them had to face letting go of one another. He was just thankful to God that today was not that day. Praising God he knew that where ever his family went, no matter what they did, they were going to be stronger because of this day.

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Sara Harricharan 10/12/06
Neat story! I loved the twist on how he discovered that his own house was on fire and then how relieved he was to see they were all okay.
Sara Harricharan 10/12/06
Neat story! I loved the twist on how he discovered that his own house was on fire and then how relieved he was to see they were all okay.
Jan Ackerson 10/13/06
You've written a heart-warming story with a lovely lesson. I'm pretty sure that firefighters know from the time they leave the station what address they're going to, so I wonder if a small re-write could correct that...but I could be mistaken. In any case, that would be awful for the firefighter, and you did a good job communicating it.
Phyllis Inniss10/13/06
A good story. Glad that the fire-fighter found his family safe.
Donna Powers 10/13/06
Very good story. A nice twist on what could have been a predictable tale. Nicely done.
Andrea Hargrove10/15/06
Excellent writing! I know how I feel after I work on something for a long time and it gets destroyed. I can only imagine how devastated your MC must be.