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A CLOSE CALL It was Christmas Eve supposedly a joyous occasion The snowflakes fell to the ground continuously like the last seeds of a dandelion blowing in the wind leaving the dead flower It had been snowing for three days and Ive been at the fire department for 20 hours waiting for the next call The temperatures were continuing to drop and the wind seemed to be blowing harder every day The days were gray and the nights were black In just four more hours I would be able to go home Then maybe I would begin to feel the holiday cheer In my neighborhood there were Christmas lights decorating every house Christmas carolers singing every weekend and fires burning in every chimney This was a sign of Christmas But not far away there was another neighborhood where there werent any Christmas lights there werent any Christmas carolers and there werent any fires in the chimneys Unfortunately however because people were trying to stay warm there were fires elsewhere in the houses Most of the families in this neighborhood were single parent families with several children in the home The families found it easier to use kerosene heaters to minimize the heating costs during the winter months In some cases kerosene heaters were used to heat the home entirely because the gas had been shut off for non-payment As I thought of this neighborhood I received the call The dispatch radio pulled me out of my trance Pontia Station I you have a structure fire at 49485 AuLac East Bay 5 fully involved smoke showing all trucks in service The once quiet resting quarters became a systematic bustle Every one of the suppression and paramedic personnel knew their positions exactly Every truck and engine left the station within minutes and in a very organized fashion Our sirens were wailing like screams for help As I pulled into the mobile home
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