God Will Protect Us

I was still a rookie Firefighter at Engine 22 when we got a run one night, to a house fire. On arrival we found a two story dwelling with fire showing at the upstairs windows. My Captain ordered me to stretch an inch and a half line and move in while the truck was ventilating the building. I took the hose bundle to the front of the building and knelt down to put on my face piece. I heard other fire companies arriving. I knew I would have back-up as I attacked the fire.

I was pulling the straps on my mask to insure a good seal when I heard footsteps behind me. Suddenly someone grabbed the nozzle which was laying on the ground next to my feet. With a rush I saw the line disappearing with a Firefighter heading into the fire. The golden rule of firefighting, in Detroit, is to never give up your line. I hadn’t given up my line. It was stolen. I was furious. I ran into the building and caught up with a Firefighter from Engine 34 named Leo. I had met Leo before when I was detailed to his company. He was a godly person who was fun to be around. He was also an excellent Firefighter.

We were in a hallway. It was hot and smoky. I didn’t have time to argue with Leo because we were fast into battling a blaze that was trying to consume us. We dropped to our knees as the fire charged out of the involved bedrooms and assaulted us. The skin on my neck started to blister. I yelled at Leo to back up a few steps to get nearer to the stairwell.

Suddenly, to my surprise, Leo stood up and surged forward shouting, “God will protect us.”  I was in fear for my life but I could not leave Leo. He needed help. The thought occurred to me that I was following a madman into the jaws of hell. The fire got hotter and smokier as we hit it with huge volumes of water. Leo kept hollering, “God will protect us.”  Leo seemed to be enjoying this battle between good and evil. I can tell you, I was not enjoying it one bit. I was hoping God would show up and get us out of this situation.

Leo was hollering so loud that God must have heard him. Two Squad 4 guys showed up with another line and together we were able to put the fire out. When we came out of the building I confronted Leo about what had just happened. He smiled at me as he stuffed a chaw of Copenhagen under his lower lip. He told me that God always got him through a bad fire. As I started to help pick up line I thought, it was good thing Squad 4 showed up to help God tonight.

Stay safe my brothers and sisters.

"Fire Talk" Archives

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


Home PageAbout the BookFirefighting LinksAbout R. J. HaigPhoto GalleryTrail of the FirewriterFire TalkCop Talk