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July 9, 2020
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From Grateful to Indebted

Published April 22, 2020

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I live on Hemlock Drive. On April 11 at about 4 p.m., I heard sirens coming up the hill. I thought, “I hope no one is in trouble.” I watched as a parade of fire trucks came into view, one after another, leaning on their horns and sirens. I wondered what on earth could be happening? Then I noticed that each truck had a sign in the window that said “Thank You Happy Easter.” This was the Fire Department’s way of saying thank you to us.

I thought, shouldn’t it be the other way around? Shouldn’t we citizens be thanking them? After all, they do what they do as volunteers.

On April 14 at about 10 a.m., a fire started in a trash can in my garage. That caused the gas tank in my lawn tractor to explode, sending burning fuel into every corner of the garage and into the rafters. The house filled with black, toxic smoke in seconds. There was nothing we could do but get out of the house. The garage was engulfed in flames. Neighbors called 911. Within minutes, Fire Chief Tim Lee pulled up in front of our house. Then the trucks began arriving, the same trucks that carried the message of thanks past our house three days earlier. I counted eight fire trucks, many more smaller vehicles, and I would estimate some 50 men from four towns on the scene to do for us what we could never have done for ourselves.

On April 11, I was grateful for what volunteer fire fighters do. But I am forever indebted to them for what they did on April 14. They saved our home. From the bottom of our hearts, my wife and I thank them.

John Greene
Deep River