When a team of firefighters rushed to rescue a little boy from a burning house, they did not expect to find a surprisingly brave bystander willing to help them.
“9-1-1. What’s your emergency?”
“There’s a fire at Pete’s house! I can hear him crying! I don’t want him to die! What should I do?”
All the way to the designated address, the fire brigade couldn’t help but think of the faint voice of the baby they had heard a few minutes before.
“Can you save my best friend? Please, please save him!”
The corner of Drucker’s peaceful and pleasant street was surrounded by anxious neighbours and rising clouds of smoke.
The entire front of the house was engulfed in flames, including the small porch garden.
Watching the fire brigade work was an incredible display of coherence and precision. Each member of the team carried out their mission both urgently and calmly.
The crowd of onlookers moved aside and left the place empty, hoping that the firefighters would quickly be able to save the child trapped in the fire.
Some members of the brigade followed the muffled screams coming from the house. It sounded like a boy of about six or seven, and seemed to be coming from one of the back rooms.
“It must be Pete,” one firefighter realized. He and his team moved through the ruins and flames with precision that could only be achieved through decades of experience.
After knocking out two wooden doors and stepping over piles of broken glass along the hallway, they finally found a little boy hiding behind a pile of small plastic chairs.
This barely discernible room with a half-burnt wall was a children’s bedroom, and the little boy was not the only one who had difficulty breathing.
One of the firefighters took the child in his arms. His expressionless face was covered in soot on one side and there were several cuts on his forehead.
There was no time to lose. The team rushed to get the semi-conscious boy out of the house.
When the commander is about to breathe a sigh of relief, one of his subordinates rushes to him and says, “Sir, please follow me. We have reason to believe there is another child there.”
A subordinate led the commander to the back of the van, where Pete was courted and watched. The little boy’s eyes lit up when he saw the commander. “Where’s Sam? Please get Sam out of there!” demanded Pete.
The other part of the team was getting ready to enter. At this time, the commander noticed a little girl approaching from the yard. She carried a bucket of water and walked to the porch of the house.
“Stand back, girl!” – the commander wondered if he had said it too harshly.
But the girl was far from frightened – she looked determined and didn’t mind being stopped by a large elderly man.
“I need you to stop. Are you Sam?” – The commander asked.
“No, I’m not Sam. Sam is Pete’s puppy. I’m Kelly, Pete’s best friend. Now, if you don’t mind, I have a puppy to rescue.”
“We’ve thought of everything, Kelly. Go to your parents.”
“My parents are gone. I can’t just stand here and watch. I can help you find Sam!” Kelly almost begged to take part in the mission. “Besides, I hear you’re missing someone on the team. I’m here. Tell me what I have to do.”
Kelly was adamant, but the commander managed to get her to tell him where the puppy was.
“Thank you, Kelly. We’ll take it from here. By the way, you know Pete’s been asking about you? Talk to him. He’s over there in the back of the truck.”
Kelly hesitated at first.
“I have to go with you to save Sam. Sam will recognise me. Then it won’t be afraid.”
She burst into tears, thinking of the innocent little pet.
“We will be very careful and gentle. Trust us,” the commander assured her in a soft voice. “Now go to your friend.”
The commander made sure that Kelly was on the right track and then called in a group of subordinates to rescue the puppy.
It was a gruelling moment. The team didn’t hesitate for a second before setting out again to find the puppy.
As Kelly said, Sam was curled up under a basket in the children’s room – the same place they had first found Pete. One of the firefighters wrapped a cloth around the little puppy, and the others helped clear the way out.
The commander’s heart melted at the sight of the puppy’s frightened eyes. He cuddled the little frightened dog until its constant whimpering subsided. Then he carried it to the back of the van, where Pete and Kelly were talking about their fears for Sam.
The children almost jumped at the sight of their mate.
“Sam! You’re here!”
The commander stood back and watched one of the most sincere moments of joy he had seen in his life and career. The children’s love for their furry friend and the way the dog licked and snuggled up to them was deeply satisfying. It was nice to be reminded that the work he does is still important.
The children thanked him a million times with their sweet and sincere words. And without prompting, they began to talk about their lives and their family.
“You see, we’re neighbours and best friends,” Kelly said.
“Yes, we are. We go to the same school, we’re in the same class, we both hate math….,” Pete continued the list.
“…And we both love Sam!” – Kelly added, wrinkling her nose and petting the puppy.
“Oh, so you were playing together when the house started catching fire? Where are your parents?” – The commander asked, trying to get them to tell the whole truth.
“Our parents had to leave to visit a mutual friend in hospital. So they asked Miss Gloria to come and look after us.”
“Miss Gloria came by, but just when she thought we were asleep, she slipped away to see her new boyfriend.”
“Yeah, she broke up with the last one because he was too lazy. The ex-boyfriend’s name was Cody and the new guy’s name was Jayden. He has a motorbike!”
The commander was amused by everything the children knew.
“Yeah, so we didn’t quite sleep and we saw them ride away on a motorcycle.”
“Kelly and I decided to play ball in the backyard. I went for another ball and that’s when the fire started.”
“I also felt something strange, but I didn’t pay attention to it,” Kelly continued, continuing to tell.
“Suddenly I heard Pete shout from inside the house. “Fire! Fire!” I was scared and didn’t know what to do. Then I remembered there was a phone in the garage! There was no fire in the garage, so I ran and called 9-1-1 and waited. I tried to be patient. But I couldn’t bear to hear Pete shouting and doing nothing. And I was really worried about Sam. So I decided to come to his rescue. I spotted a bucket in the garage, filled it, and got ready to go. That’s when you noticed me – you came like lightning to help! I’m sorry I couldn’t help more!” Kelly couldn’t hold back the tears.
The chief was deeply touched by the kindness of the little girl. Wiping away her tears, he told her, “You’re a brave girl, Kelly. Walking into a burning house with a bucket of water wasn’t a good idea, but you didn’t know it. Now you know. And most importantly, you helped in the best way by calling 9-1-1 as soon as possible! Like it or not, you’re a hero too!”
Over the next few hours, the crowds thinned and the street became quiet and peaceful as usual.
When Pete and Kelly’s parents ran back, they didn’t want to look at the burnt-out house. They ran to the fire engine, wanting to see the children. They sat with Sam in the back of the fire engine and played tic-tac-toe with a group of firemen.
“Mummy! Daddy!” – shouted Pete cheerfully. “Remember when you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up? Well, I decided… I’m going to be a fireman. A real superhero like them!”.
“Me too, Mom, Dad! I think they’re much stronger than Batman or Superman!” – Kelly declared, hugging the commander. Pete and Sam also joined in the hug. This moment was her most vivid memory of the day.