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A tough way for anyone to start the day...
by Lori Ably


September 16, 2004

Just before 5AM, Gizmo the dog began barking wildly a few doors down and she ran up o our front door barking and dancing in circles. My husband, Vern looked out to be sure there was no intruder about our home or cars, but could see nothing and we assumed there might have been a bear because she was so anxious. Minutes late we walked outside and looked around again and heard a very faint beeping noise. At first it sounded like an alarm clock but my husband who is a Fire Fighter at the airport recognized the sound and said to me fire alarm . I looked up the street to see a plume of smoke puff out of the roof of a nearby home.

We quickly headed up the street but could see no flames. Vern ran a head and I ran back to call it in. By the time he made it up to the porch hollering to see if anyone was inside, the nearest neighbor ran out to see what the situation was. A woman came out with her extinguisher in hand and said she was OK. Meanwhile the dispatcher at 911 told me a crew was already on the way. The first of the vehicles arrived in about two minutes. Being told everything was OK, and sure things were in good hands, we managed to get Vern to the airport ferry on time. I arrived back home to find many of my neighbors on the corner hoping things were OK for the tenants. A number of emergency vehicles were parked up and down the street, lights flashing.

I doubled checked with a fireman at the scene, and everyone is fine. I was worried that someone might have suffered smoke inhalation, judging from the amount of smoke that plumed out from under the eaves.

I don t know yet if perhaps Gizmo might have woken up the tenant with her anxious barking. It is tough to not take barking for granted, because as with many neighborhoods, some animals just bark all the time. A person does their best to ignore all the noise. But I might jump just a little quicker the next time when the barking starts in the wee hours.

Our neighborhood is lucky we have at least four emergency personnel living in a few hundred feet of one another. I say a heart felt thanks to all the emergency personnel who responded to my neighbor's needs this morning. It is a tough way for anyone to start the day.

Lori Ably
Ketchikan, AK - USA



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