Friday, April 6, 2012

The reason I am in the Fire Alarm Business is because of a tragedy

The reason I am driven with the passion with protecting lives happened during the winter of 1966  as you can read in the AP article at left  .I was in the second grade at St Basil's School in Carrick 29th ward of Pittsburgh Pa. 
With a class mate  who  I was friends with in class Ronnie Schiller we where both 7 yrs old at the time except one Monday morning Ronnie was not there neither where his brother and 2 sisters they all died in a tragic Christmas time fire
in there home on Westmont Ave.
The fire started in a bedroom and as it spread Ronnie's dad pushed his pregnant mom from an attic bedroom window to escape the flames and as Ronnie and his dad and siblings tried to get down the stairway to escape they all died. I remember that morning when I came down to breakfast  on  December 16, 1966 and my mother was  almost crying it was on the news my friend was dead. there was nothing that could be done. That night at dinner my dad came home from the steel mill and we discussed what happened and we went thru a fire drill what we would do if there was a fire. In our case my 2 younger brothers and me  would go out our front windows and stay on the ledge so fireman could rescue us if we had to jump it was only one story so we could make it. I went to bed every night as a small child after that  praying to the lord to keep me and my family safe from fire and he always has. Back then we did not have grief councilors it was not even discussed in school the teachers and nuns never discussed it ever it was like it never happened. There where also no smoke detectors back then for homes either It was not until I was in my teens when a smoke detector was available and I still have one of them I show when I give talks on fire services and issues we face. I also keep in my truck battery smoke detectors I paid for and put in peoples homes when they can not afford them.  Google recently went and imaged many newspapers across the country and I was finally able to find info on my friend and the fire. unfortunately not in a local papers of the time as they where not yet copied when Google stopped the imaging program.Because a couple papers got shitty with them. Thank you ass hole news papers who stopped this really great service.  I also found out a few years ago thru my mom when
we where doing family research because of my stage 4 colon cancer which I am currently in remission I might never have been born My maternal grandmother  and her sister where almost victims of a fire in the Denny Apartment's   they rented  On Penn Ave back in 30's but luckily both where able to escape.I hope thru research to find that article as well. and share it with you.
So if you wonder where I get what it takes to still work part time and fight off cancer you now know..
and if your into historical research check out goggles newspapers archive .May we all sleep safely tonight and never go thru such a tragic situation.

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