Around 5:00am Thursday I met a construction worker, a corrections officer and several other guys from different walks of life. Of the two dozen of us standing outside a vacant home that burned to the ground in Doe Run, my colleague Steve and I were the only ones receiving a paycheck for our trouble and WE were the only ones who didn't put ourselves in danger.
Everyone else there was a volunteer firefighter... awakened around 3:00am to head to this house fire. Thank goodness the home was vacant. It was engulfed when firefighters got there. About 30 minutes into their effort to put out the fire, the house collapsed and a chimney fell on two volunteer firefighters from Bismarck.
They were taken to a hospital and by 7:00am we got word from the Doe Run Fire Chief the pair was treated and released from that hospital. They got banged up, though and were in no mood to talk to me about their experience. One of their helmets had a softball-sized hole in it from the impact. Wow.
Glad these guys are okay and hope they're not taken for granted. They don't have to go out to house fires and risk their lives at 3:00am... they just do.
Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV-TV. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.