A community helps in an emergency

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To the Editor:

I was hesitant at first to share this story but after much thought I couldn’t help but share. On Monday, May 13 mid-afternoon my husband, Rodney, was on his way home driving north on River Road. As he approached Abby’s Pizza, he saw black smoke and flames near the Shell gas station – where apartments reside directly behind the station. With no fire department crew or police yet on-site, he turned and headed towards the fire. He found an elderly man off 2nd Street in shock and in fear his home was on fire. The man said he was just leaving when he saw flames and black smoke above the back of his home as he backed out of his driveway…he did not know what to do. My husband immediately went into action to find hoses and a water supply, then headed toward the back of the house. During this time, two other men helped bring the hose toward the backyard and began to try to hose down the fire from the outside of the fence.  By the time my husband rushed toward the back of the house, moments after he found the water supply and jumped the fence to hose down what he could of the fire, both men had left.

All three men, no matter their involvement, should be commended. I’m very proud of my husband because he set aside his safety to help a member of our community. He helped calm this gentleman, immediately acting on instincts as he would for his own home and family to help him. He stayed, helping put out as much of the fire as he could between this man’s backyard and the apartments behind him until the fire department arrived and they found a water supply. As he left, the home owner expressed his deepest thanks and felt blessed for all he had done to help him.

My husband doesn’t know I’m writing you…I’ve never done so before and we are certainly not in need of public attention. I do, however, feel incredibly inspired by his actions and by a story of a Good Samaritan in our own community. A community which he was raised – feels pride, obligation and a sense of stewardship to help one another…each and every day – selflessly.

My hope is that you would consider publishing this story, not to gain attention for my husband but to recognize now and in future stories those citizens in our own community who pause the busyness in their own lives to reach out and help one another.

Nichole Waldner
Keizer

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