Last night Gloria's house burned to the ground. A teenage daughter sustained minor burns and smoke inhalation trying to rescue her pets. She spent the night in the hospital and is being released today. She saved one puppy out of 4 dogs and two cats. No one else was injured - Dad, Mom, two brothers. One of the brothers is an adult, the other is in my sons' class in school.
Everyone I've seen today is ashen faced and tearful. Faces are tired, some from staying up all night helping, some from staying up all night worrying. Plans are being formed for donations of food and clothing. We talk of where the family can live. The movers and shakers are doing their things.
Fire is our worst fear. Most of us heat our homes at least partially with wood. A fact that is not likely to change with the cost of propane, electricity and heating oil. Emotionally, we are hard hit. It could have been any one of us.
Houses burn down here every winter, many homes are old farmhouses made of wood, but this is the first that has been so close to home. Someone we know - a family in our school. A friend of my sons.
The school will pitch in, the town as well. We area tight community. What the red cross doesn't supply the rest of us will. Eventually, they'll rebuild. But for today, we are all in shock, fear and tears mirrored in each others faces as we share the tragedy.