On Oct. 12, coming home for lunch, our greatest fear came true. The street was lined with fire trucks, and they were surrounding our driveway.
Denial, fear and panic all began to set in as I was unsure what to expect when driving through the trees before seeing the garage burnt to the ground and our house on fire.
This is a story that has a happy ending. The children were OK, with their mother and the eldest in school. The dogs were OK, left in the yard for some fresh air. And as usual the cat never left her stand.
Our family cannot thank the brave men and women of Hootalinqua, Ibex Valley and Whitehorse fire departments enough. Your professionalism and willingness to put your lives on the line to save others, and their homes cannot be recognized enough. Our home was “two minutes away from being fully engulfed.” These words continue to ring through my head to this day.
We’d be remiss not to also recognize and thank the numerous neighbours who flooded 911 with multiple calls when they saw something amiss in the sky. And especially a man simply introduced as Theodore, for making sure nobody was in our house, and putting the dogs in the back of your truck.
But not all stories end this way. Please ensure you have and maintain CO and smoke detectors, plan two escape routes for every dwelling in your home, and practise fire drills.
Things could’ve turned out a lot worse for us, and we are forever grateful to everyone who assisted to save our home.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
Samson Hartland and family