The Fire – We moved to a new home when I was 5 years old. It was a cold November afternoon and I had an ear ache which has been a common ailment In my life. My Mom was on her first date 3.5 years after my Dad died. She searched high and low for the best baby sitter and settled on the 19 year old young woman who was the Valedictorian of the previous years Senior Class at our local High School.
My brother who was 7 years old mentioned to the baby sitter that It was cold In the house and we should get a fire started In the fireplace. She agreed and he proceeded to get wood from the garage, load It In the fireplace but unfortunately, he could not get It started. He then suggested gasoline and brought the can up from the garage and threw some on the fireplace. It lit up, the can exploded, everyone ran out of the house. It was wasn’t until the local volunteer Fire Dept showed up that my brother remembered I was upstairs sleeping on a heating pad while the house was burning down around me. The Firemen refused to enter the house as the temp readings where too high. However, a neighbor from up the street, probably 20 years old at the time, Frank Zahre, put on the suit and gear, went Into the house, up the stairs, and saved my life. Thank you again Frank. Our paper boy, Later our Step Father, organized a carnival up the street to raise money for our family, thank you John Fitzgerald!