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This poem was inspired by an acutal experience. May I be granted the skills and
good fortune to prevent anyone else from having to experience such a tragedy.


The call was toned out in the middle of the night, as so many calls before.
A fully involved structure fire, so we knew what was in store.

But this run would be different, as each of us would find.
It happened many years ago, but remains fresh in my mind.

As dispatch confirmed entrapment, we felt our blood run cold,
two little girls were in the home, just 1 and 4 years old.

As each of us responded, we found the time to pray,
“Please God, help them hang on, ‘cause help is on the way.”

As we drew nearer to the scene, a nightmare filled our eyes,
an all too familiar glow was lighting up the sky.

The fire had already vented, and was streaming from the door,
flames showing from every window, from ceiling to the floor.

All the crews turned to their work, on rescue and attack,
each giving their very best, to turn the fire back.

We charged headlong into the fire, oblivious to the heat,
determined not to falter, refusing to admit defeat.

But in spite of our best efforts, all trace of hope was gone,
and God had shown his mercy, by calling two angels home.

We sat upon the steps of the trucks, men so tough and brave,
and shamelessly shed tears of grief for the girls we could not save.

I asked God to watch over them, to give them peace and rest,
and to please tell each one of them we did our very best.

I carry their memory with me. I think of them now and then,
and ask for strength of body and mind, to keep this from happening again.

Michael Wade Newberry

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