Above And Beyond The Call.
Beyond the call!
on June 11, 2005. ©-MFB III -All rights reserved
The fire was raging
as he rounded the staircase,
and entered the third floor hallway to his left.
Masked, and cloaked in fireproof gear,
and breathing 60 minutes of oxygen,
he had a little time to see
if there was anyone left alive,
in the inferno around him.
The lady of the house was
charred to a crisp, on the couch
two floors below, careless smoking perhaps,
but she'd never tell.
The man of the house was unconscious
in an ambulance, after jumping three stories
with a baby, who was doing well.
The father cushioned the asphalt blows,
with a shoulder and then a head smash,
holding the baby out away from him.
Suddenly a blur of pink caught
the fireman's smoke screened eyes.
Just a tiny patch of color
in the bleak greys and blacks
in the room to his right,
and so he crawled low into it.
A little girl of about 16 months
was hiding her head in a large stuffed bear,
and sobbing ever so softly into its belly.
He gently pried her free,
and when she started at his masked face,
he reassured her that he would get her out of there safely.
As he headed back towards the stairs,
they collapsed with a whoosh,
and suddenly he was stranded
with a precious life and no way down!
He held her face close to his chest,
giving her precious oxygen
as he sought another way out,
but the entire ceiling and
most of the walls were burning
all around him with little hope.
He staggered back into her room again
which was blazing hot,
her windows were barred for the neighborhood
had known burglars,
but he found a tiny bathroom,
just inside the outside wall of the house.
As a last resort with no where left to run,
and instinct taking over,
he crawled carefully into the
large footed, old fashioned tub.
He turned on the shower above him,
which amazingly still worked,
and covered the tiny girl with his body,
and his large fireproof coat.
She lay curled up tightly in a fetal position,
underneath his arms and chest,
in the tent of his coat,
tucked under her and all around her.
He then fitted his oxygen mask
over her tiny face
holding it snugly there with his large hand,
bent on hands and knees
to make sure she was completely
blocked from the heat and smoke.
A half hour later with the blaze
under control, they made the third floor
by ladder, and found a huddled, smoking wet
mass of fireman's jacket,with stiffened arms,
and rigid boots and legs in a crawl position,
inside the long soaked tub.
Fearing the worst they gently pulled the firefighter up,
and were shocked to find a tiny girl alive,
and still breathing the fireman's air,
safely protected underneath him.
But he was gone from inhaling the heated smoke,
and the toxic fumes.
He was buried with full honors,
and she got to grow up with
her little brother, and her daddy
who recovered after a long hospital stay
for a fractured skull, and a dislocated shoulder.
Much like the tale of the mother hen
who was caught in a grass fire with her tiny chicks,
and who prodded them all beneath her wings
and covered them with her body,
but was roasted in the effort. Then when the farmer
found her and went to
lift her up to remove her carcass,
he was shocked to see six tiny baby chicks run out cheeping and alive.
Much like this old tale,
that fireman used his own flesh to shield
a tiny life from death.
And so goes many great stories like these,
told and retold in the cities and towns,
in the kitchens at the firehouses,
where glory is relived over, and over again
in hopes to inspire more courage,
by other men when they come under fire,
and need a quick soul-lution.