This week I am using a photo prompt.
The Find Among the Flames
Tom’s job as a firefighter was a dangerous one, for sure, and it was never a dull one. They just never knew what they were walking into when the alarm went off.
“Hey Tom, what are you going to make for dinner?” Pete, one of Tom’s fellow firefighters and friends asked him. Each member of the station took turns cooking. Some were better at it than others.
“I’m trying something new—chicken and asparagus with cheddar cheese. I made it for Ben the other day and he loved it.”
“Sounds good. You’re a great cook. You should write a cookbook.”
“That’s what Ben said. I told him we should collaborate on one. He’s a good cook too.”
“What are you guys doing for Valentine’s Day?” Pete asked him.
“Ben and I are planning to…”
‘Beep, beep, beep, beep.’ The alarm sounded. Tom, Pete, and the rest of the firefighters on duty stopped what they were doing and rushed to the trucks. The two large doors opened and off they went.
The emergency was a house fire; the blaze was quickly taking over the structure. Another engine company was on the scene when they showed up. Paramedics were there as well. The police were keeping gawkers back.
Tom and the others put on their oxygen masks and pulled hoses off the back of the truck. Their captain, Joseph, directed them where to go. Tom went inside; they were doing a room-by-room search for anyone trapped there. It was a three-bedroom ranch style house; at least they didn’t have a second floor to contend with, so that was one good thing. They searched closets and under beds, just in case any children were hiding. Tom was in what looked like a little boy’s room. The sports trophies that lined the bookshelves on the wall were a dead give-away. That and it was painted blue. There was no one in the room. He was just about to leave when he spotted a tank sitting on the top of a dresser in the corner.
“Well hello, little guy.” Tom lifted up the tank cover and found a box turtle looking up at him. There was about five inches of water in the tank. Tom fished him out and put him against his chest, inside his turnout coat.
The fire seemed to be centered in the living room. It didn’t take long to put it out. Tom went outside and met up with the rest of the crew.
“Wow, that was a hot one. Do you think it’s electrical?” Pete asked their captain.
“It looks like it could be. I’m glad no one was inside.”
“Well, I wouldn’t exactly say no one was inside,” Tom said.
“What do you mean? Did you find someone? You know you’re supposed to radio in if you find a victim.” Captain Joseph started to admonish him.
“Well, I didn’t have time. I wanted to get this fella out of there ASAP.” Tom opened his coat and revealed the turtle, who looked around, dazed, at them.
“Well, look what Tom found, guys. A turtle.”
Life around the firehouse could be very stressful and the guys often razzed on each other. But one thing that was no laughing matter was their job of saving lives when they could. Tom wondered, for a moment, if they would make fun of him for getting the turtle out. They often rescued more than people out of a burning building. They’d saved countless dogs and cats. They even had the equipment specifically made for them to resuscitate in case they needed to be revived. But this was their first turtle rescue.
“You done good, Tom. You’re a hero,” the captain commended him.
“Does anyone know how to get in contact with the family?”
“A neighbor said they were out of town.” Randy, another firefighter commented.
“That’s odd. The kids still have school.”
“Well, we’ll have to sort it out later. What are you going to do with your new friend?” Pete asked him.
“I’m not sure. I guess I’ll have to take him home until we find out where the homeowners are.”
It took some time to finish up at the house. It wasn’t long before Tom’s shift was over and he and his new friend were on their way back home.
“Ben?” Tom came in. Love was there to say hello, like usual.
“Hi Love,” Tom bent down to pet their cat.
“Hi Tom, I’m in the kitchen making dinner.”
“I hope you don’t mind. I brought some company home with me.”
“Company? Sure I don’t mind.” Usually Tom called if he was bringing one of the fellas home from the station. Ben usually liked a heads-up when company was coming so he could straighten the place up.
“Hi baby.” Tom kissed and hugged Ben.
“So where is the company. Is he hanging up his coat?” Ben looked behind Tom, toward the hallway.
“No, I have our guest right here.” Tom reached into his pocket and pulled out the guest.
Tom placed him on the floor to see what Love would do. He knew the risk of salmonella, so he wouldn’t put him on the table. He’d stopped at a pet shop on his way home to find out what he’d need to take care of him.
He told Ben how the turtle came into his possession.
“So until we can find out where the family is the turtle needs a home to stay in. I hope you don’t mind.” Tom laughed as Love tapped the turtle’s shell, trying to figure out why this toy was moving so slow.
“Of course not, you’re a hero. I bet that boy is going to be so happy that you rescued his turtle friend.”
Ben kissed him and they set up the tank on a table in the living room.
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