44 days ago, our house was devastated by a fire. My family made it out, as did 2 of 4 pets. My wife was found in the front hall attempting to rescue the animals. She was scorched, but is doing fine. As are the kids and Tori dog and Shinubo the cat.
Starting on July 19th, 8 pm, incredible support started pouring in to me and my family. I was at work at the time the fire began and raced home. On arrival, I found 7 fire departments fighting the blaze. Moments before I got there, they had retreated from the house as the temperature soared over the 1000 degree limits of their equipment. What I didn't know until weeks later, other fire departments had activated and were covering all of the areas those 7 departments normally cover. To say this was a massive response would be an understatement.
The fire was limited to the basement, but where it burned didn't matter. The temperature was rising throughout the home. If the roof caught fire, there could have been an explosion that would ignited the neighbors houses. To prevent this from happening, fire fighters cut holes in the roof to allow the heat and pressure to escape. This would cause the roof to collapse in and the whole house would be lost to save the surrounding homes. Since the heat far exceeded their equipment's ratings, this was the only safe option.
That isn't what happened.
Instead the fire fighters mounted a rally and reentered the blaze to fight the flames directly. It was all hands on deck moment. They first used sheets of water to cool the 1000+ degree heat on the upper floor, so they could advance deeper into the blaze. In the middle of the assault, the chaplain lead a group of men and women to rescue our cat, Benny. Although Benny had already succumbed to heat and smoke, they retrieved his body for proper burial, over which the Chaplain presided.