Beeler's Fog Monster

When I was a young Firefighter I ran at Engine 27. Our sister company was Ladder 8 and along with Chief 7 we were housed in the same quarters. Box alarms saw the three of us responding one right behind the other. Chief 7 had a flamboyant outgoing driver named Beeler. Beeler was a good chief’s driver. He would speed ahead of the responding companies and if the location did not have a fire he would call it in and stop all companies from continuing to the scene. Responding to a fire through traffic is dangerous so what Beeler did was appreciated by everyone.

One extremely foggy night we got a run to a depressed area that was a mix of dwellings, factories and warehouses. Beeler and Chief 7 were out the door and gone by the time the rest of us slid the pole and climbed into our rigs to respond. The location was Military near West Jefferson. The fog was so thick we had to respond with caution. As we turned on Military our lights caught the blurred figure of Beeler running between two houses to check for a fire. What happened next are in Beeler’s words.

Beeler said, “I ran toward the back yard. Central Office reported it as smoke at the rear of the location. It was so damn foggy I had to keep my hand on the wall of the house as I moved. At the rear gate my head collided with something. It knocked my helmet off. I flashed my light upward to see what I bumped into. What ever it was it stood seven feet tall. It had large bloodshot eyes and enormous lips. The lips rolled back to expose gigantic yellow white teeth. My brain was lit up like a pinball machine as it flew through my memory bank trying to identify what my eyes were seeing. In a nano second my brain said you ain’t never seen nothing like this before. When I turned to run the monster let out a blood curdling wail that sounded like wheeeeee. Wheeee bullshit I’m out of here. My feet were already headed for the street as I turned.”

The rest of us came off our rigs and started between the buildings. Beeler crashed into us like a linebacker. He knocked two swearing Firefighters to the ground. A wide eyed Beeler was yelling there’s a fricken monster back there. Call the cops.

We slowly moved forward and on checking it out we found a trash man’s horse standing with his head over the fence chewing grass. To the day he died Beeler said what he saw was not a horse. We told Beeler it might be time to retire or to quit drinking cheap whiskey.

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"Fire Horses" book authored by firefighter R.J. Haig.


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