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Lessons learned in the wake of tragedy

Fire is one of the most tragic events a family can face.

I’ve been a volunteer firefighter for several years. I’ve seen houses and families devastated by fire.

Fire takes everything you have in most cases. Belongings that aren’t consumed in the blaze itself are often destroyed by heat, smoke and water.

In most cases, there is no such thing as a small fire.

Late morning yesterday, the Thomasville McDonald’s was destroyed by fire. Basically, nothing was left.

I feel for the owners and the employees.

The owners are now left with an insurance hassle with hopes of being able to afford replacing the equipment. The employees are now out of work.

Even if the location is rebuilt, it may take many months, possibly years.

Those employees have responsibilities and need those paychecks to meet financial obligations. This was a truly sad event for all.

Hindsight is 20/20, but you can’t help wondering if a well-placed working fire extinguisher would have prevented any of this.

In my time as a fire fighter, the answer to that question many times – especially in the case of kitchen fires – is a resounding “yes.”

I hope each of you will take yesterday’s tragedy and use it as a prompt to check your smoke detectors and make sure you have a fire extinguisher in close proximity to your kitchen.