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Fire Safety Week Reminds Me of Bizarre and Dangerous Rescue

My dad was the ultimate rubber-necker. You know how most people, due to simple human nature, will slow down or stop if they see a wreck or a fire? Dad would actually get out of the car to get a closer look–in some cases, a MUCH closer look. That was usually because he knew most of the police or fire department. Nonetheless, that was no excuse–in my opinion–for a stunt he pulled on U.S. 431 just south of Owensboro when I was a little kid.

Now, when I say “just south of Owensboro,” I’m talking about where Towne Square Mall stands today.Yeah, this was a VERY long time ago. As we were driving back into town, we saw a house nearly engulfed in flames on the left hand side of the road.

My dad stopped the car and got out. And then he started walking toward the house. Now, my recollection of this event doesn’t include what my mother’s reaction must have been. But I do remember him going into the burning house. And while I don’t remember everything about that night, I do remember not thinking he’d be harmed in any way. When you’re a kid, you tend to think your parents are invincible. And, sure enough, he came right back out of that house completely unscathed. And, are you ready for this? He wasn’t empty-handed. Dad had rescued a box of chocolate-covered cherries! I kid you not. By the way, no one was in the house, thankfully. I guess now that I think about it, the fire must not have been as big as it looked to me at the time, or those chocolates would have been goo. Anyway, that was a long time ago; the days where a civilian could just walk into a burning home while firefighters were working to put it out are gone, needless to say. I was reminded of this story after learning of the Owensboro Fire Department’s participation in Fire Safety Week, an event whose goal it is to improve the safety of firefighters as they perform their life-saving duties. I can only imagine what any of these civil servants would have to say were I to tell them this little tale of “Save the Cherries!”

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