|I’ve been contemplating for several days about what this particular post should be about; after all, it is a special occasion. According to the blogosphere, when you reach your 100th post you are supposed to reveal one hundred things about yourself. Never one to follow the rules, I shan’t bore you with those minor pesky details, and instead, tell you the story about the fire on Cherry Fork Road.
Growing up on a farm in southern Ohio was a lot of fun. We had all sorts of adventures, many, which I am sad to say, have escaped my memory. We had a building next to our house that we called the shed. It had a chicken house on one side and an outhouse on the other side. In the middle was where we kept our two freezers full of beef and vegetables. Yes, we grew our own veggies and slaughtered our farm animals for food.
Anyhow, the roof was in such bad shape that my dad decided a new roof was in order. So, he called my cousin Kenny, who helped us with all of those tasks, and my brother and dad got together one weekend and put new shingles on the roof of the shed. The old shingles were dispatched to what we called the ditch which was a place where things ended up to be dealt with at a later time. It wasn’t really a dump, because it always got cleaned up eventually, more like a holding station.
I’m not sure what time of year it was; but, it had to be in the fall sometime because it was cool and dry and we were in school. My sister and I were in Cherry Fork having been transferred from our respective schools waiting to begin the ride back home on our regular bus. We rode Bus 7 and our driver’s name was Don. Suddenly, a message came over the emergency radio that he carried that there was a fire at the Palmer house on Cherry Fork Road.
Quiet, absolute quiet! No one said a word. My sister and I ran to the front of the bus and he took off. We were usually about the 6th or 7th stop on the way home but he didn’t stop to let anyone off the bus. I don’t know how fast he was going but when we hit the bottom of the big hill everyone and everything went flying.
My sister and I were hanging on for dear life and when we approached the house you couldn’t see anything but smoke and fire trucks. We saw my brother’s truck but didn’t know where he was. Everyone on the bus had their noses pressed up to the glass trying to see the blaze. All we wanted to do was get off the bus and find our brother. Don told everyone on the bus to stay put while he went and talked to the firemen.
After a few tense moments he came back to the bus and said we could get off the bus. Everything was under control. We were walking up the driveway when we saw my brother being treated by the paramedics. It seemed that he had taken in a little smoke while trying to protect the house with a garden hose.
My brother had decided that that particular day was a good day to begin to clean up the shingles and other material down in the ditch. He had started a fire and was going to let it burn itself out. It seemed like a good idea until the wind picked up and shifted directions. The wind was picking up the shingles and was blowing them directly towards the house. In a matter of minutes the fire had leapt from the ditch and the entire field was ablaze and heading for the house.
Luckily, a neighbor had spotted the fire and called the fire department. When they arrived, my brother was covered with scratches and black soot from the fire and was guarding the house with the trusty water hose. The fireman yelled for him to drop the hose and back away from the fire but he wasn’t moving.
Fortunately, the wind shifted again and the fire changed directions. The firemen were able to apply several tankers full of water to the blaze and all that was left was a blackened field and a few remaining smoldering shingles.
My brother looked at us and then looked at the field and said this: “Do you think Mom and Dad are going to be mad? I saved the house."