10:20 pm March 12th 2009.
I could hear a voice crying for help from somewhere, though I wasn’t sure were. With the roaring flames and rubble that was crashing down in this abandoned warehouse my partner and I could not decipher were the voice was, and with the blaze making the structure weaker and oxygen tanks nearing empty, time wasn’t on our sides. Only choice was to split up to search for the girl.
Here trapped in rubble, I searched for help and found the peace Grieg was talking about.
24 hours earlier.
“Tomato?” My wife asked as I came back from kissing my kids goodnight. I never leave for a shift without kissing them goodbye. Tomorrow wasn’t promised.
“Sure.” I said with a kiss. She finished, handing me the paper-bag. I took her into my arms giving her a hug and kiss.
“Lord keep him safe, give him a safe return home. And keep me sane while he’s fighting fires.” She whispered near my ear.
“I wish you would stop that. God isn’t going to do anything.” She pulled away.
“No Jeremy, He is and I‘m not going to stop. You know, I pray for you not just that He keeps you safe, but that you come to know His love like I do.” I rolled my eyes not wanting to get into it when I had to leave.
“Okay, fine. Love you,” I kissed her again and was on my way.
It wasn’t long before a call came in that took us to an apartment fire.
It was quiet after that. Till about 5:00 pm the following day we were called to the seen of an accident.
Four cars were in a collation; the driver at fault was texting. He and another were killed—a half finished text message. Sad.
Grieg, said a prayer for the families of the victims’ when we returned to the fire-house. He does that when a person was lost; I didn’t understand the need to waste the time God wasn’t going to listen.
“Why waste your time? How does praying help? Those people are still dead. We are still putting our lives on the line. What does it change?”
“Not a waste of time. He listens He answers. You know I pray every time we’re on a call. He gives me the peace to get through it. The peace to know my family will be okay if I don’t. Though not every prayer is answered He gives me peace to know, His ways are greater. Never enter a fire without my peace, my protection. Try it.”
10:00 pm the call came in; the bell went off and Darlene’s voice came over the speaker.
“Fire at abandoned warehouse on 39th.” She then called out the engines numbers. Grieg and I jumped up and rushed to get ready with the others.
The building was a blaze when we reached it. Grieg and I hurried in checking for survivors. While the others worked to put out the flames.
“Thought you never go into a fire without praying?” I called over the flames.
“I don’t.” He said moving ahead.
“Look, no-one is here, the place is abandoned, let’s go.” I said.
“Wait.” Rubble fell before us, still Grieg continued on.
“Shhh you hear that.” Part of the ceiling fell behind us.
“Yeah, it the building coming down, let’s go.” A cry for help came above the flames.
“We’re coming hang on.” He called. I followed behind him. More of the walls tumbled down.
“Got to split up, our tanks are low; the warehouse is going to cave in.”
I was off in another direction when, One moment I was searching through rubble, the next a flash of flames and heat, then boom! I was pinned under rubble.
“Great.” I sighed trying to free myself. I screamed my wrist was broken. I couldn’t lift it. I called to Grieg, but no response came back.
“God,” I found myself calling out. “Please get me out of here.”
I am with you.
I felt a calm wash over me, this is why they prayed. Because He was there.
Grieg called my name.
“Over here. I’m stuck. You find the girl?”
“Yeah, she’s safe.” He said reaching my side. “Now let’s get you out.”
“Thank God!” Karen said reaching the side of my hospital bed.
“I did.” She pulled back her eyes shimmered. “God answered your prayers tonight. I’ve heard what you’ve been saying. He listens. He answers.”
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