The bells clanged. Dinner was brought to a halt as Chief Billy Watkins jumped up from
the long table of firefighters, grabbed his gear off its hook and slid down the pole to the
fire truck bay. He hopped up into the engine’s cab, turned the key, and flipped a switch.
The siren bellowed.
“Come on guys! Hurry up! It’s a bad one!” Six men scrambled on board. Billy floored
the gas pedal and the truck roared into the street. The truck charged through the town,
racing to get to the blazing structure. The siren and lights announced the impending
tragedy to everyone it passed.
Flames lapped the sky as the truck screeched to a halt in front of the burning house.
The firemen jumped from the truck and attached the hoses to the hydrant. “Men, get
these people back!” Billy waved his arm at the crowd pressing about on the front lawn.
“But there’s a little girl still in there!” cried a woman.
Chief Billy grabbed an oxygen tank and mask off the truck.
“Let me go in, Chief,” said Tommy.
“No way! It’s too dangerous. I’m going in.”
The firefighters sprayed water on the door and beyond into the blazing home as Chief
Billy entered the inferno. The smoke was thick. He dropped to his knees and crawled,
praying his fire-retardant suit would protect him from the heat and flames.
Billy looked around the living room, behind the couch, under end tables, places children
might hide. He crept down the hallway and checked the bedrooms, kitchen, and dining
The flames licked at his suit, he could feel his body temperature rising. Where can she
be? “Oh, God, help me.”
Crack!. A ceiling beam crashed to the floor behind him. There was one deceitfully
quiet moment, then flames exploded higher and hotter.
Billy scrambled into the bathroom. He heard sobs. He jerked back the shower curtain.
There she sat, in the bathtub, holding a little kitten. Seeing Billy with his strange mask
frightened the little girl more. She shrieked and the kitten clawed the air trying to reach
for freedom. “Thank God, I’ve found you. It’s okay, Hon, you’re all right.” As he spoke
the words, he wondered if he’d told the truth. Would they make it out?
His training kicked in and Billy grabbed the towel at the sink, soaked it under the faucet
and threw it over the little girl. He picked up the child and kitten, now dripping with
water. “Hang on to me, honey, we’re going to get out of here.”
Billy ran out of the bathroom and down the hall. The girl clutched his neck, her legs
flopped in the air as he ran with her. Fire surrounded them. Lord, I trust in You. He
neared the fallen beam and without taking time to think, bounded over the flames as if it
were only a crack in the sidewalk. As he approached the door of escape there was an
earsplitting whoosh. The whole ceiling and roof were caving in. Billy catapulted himself
through the door as the whole structure collapsed behind him.
Gasping for air, Billy handed the little girl to a paramedic, then flopped down on the cool
grass, away from the burning remains of the former residence. He took off his hat and
mask and rubbed his hands through his sweaty hair. One by one his men patted him
on the back. “Congratulations!” “You did great!” “We were sure worried!” “Great job,
Boss!” “You’re that little girl’s hero! Ours too!”
Chief Billy breathed deep and relaxed. He bowed his head, “Thank You, Lord. You
helped me snatch another one from the fire.”
“Billy, it’s 9:00 o’clock, time for bed. Put your toys away,” his mother said as she
entered his bedroom doorway.
“Okay, Mom.” Billy gathered all his little plastic firemen and dropped them in their
plastic bag. He took off his red plastic fireman’s hat. He put his hat, the figurines and
his little red fire engine into his toy box and climbed into bed. He smiled at her, “Night,
Mom. I love you.”
She bent over and gave him a peck on the cheek, “I love you, too, my little firefighter.
Good night, son. Don’t forget to say your prayers.” She tiptoed out and closed the door.
And little Billy snuggled deep into his pillow to sleep and dream the night away.
Jude 23 NIV - Snatch others from the fire and save them.
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