Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Letter to the Editor

The following Letter to the Editor appeared in the Statesman yesterday (Monday, March 15) and it is definitely "worth sharing."

WORTH SHARING
Heartfelt thanks

I am a "someone else," as in: Fires happen to someone else. I was a resident at the Anderson Oaks apartments and lived on the second floor of the building that burned.

It was an experience I never thought I would really go through. When we hear sirens or see people wrapped in blankets watching their home burn, we might wonder how we will react, but that's about it.

I guess I thought the firefighters got everyone out, poured some water on the fire, and went back to their station. I didn't know anything.

We all take for granted the bravery of these remarkable people. What you don't know is how efficient, kind and gentle they are when dealing with very traumatized people. They gave us updates and tried to get important items from apartments that were still partially burning.

In my case, they also rescued one cat and were able to confirm that the other had perished so that I did not have the additional worry that she had gotten out and was wandering lost.

Hopefully, you will never become a "someone else." However, here are a few things I learned:

  • Have important phone numbers written down and in your wallet. Since I began using a cell phone, I no longer have any numbers memorized since I don't dial them. I had to call Fort Worth to get the number of my closest friends, who only lived a mile away.
  • Fire safes work, but everything in them gets wet.
  • I know times are tough, but get renter's insurance. It has taken a big worry off my shoulders.
To the police officer who came through the awful smoke to lead me out, my heartfelt thanks. To the other residents who banged on doors, raised the alarm and woke me up, my heartfelt thanks. To the Red Cross which was there so quickly and immediately got me started on rebuilding, I send my heartfelt thanks. To the firefighters who do this kind of thing every day, I give my admiration and heartfelt thanks.

Jo Williams
joeyw@flash.net
Austin