We are grateful for the brave firefighters | PostIndependent.com

We are grateful for the brave firefighters

Erin Fuleki

When the Storm King fire happened, my husband, my daughter, who was 3 at the time, and I lived in Mountain Mobile Home Park in West Glenwood.

When the fire started, I was working part time at Penelope’s Restaurant, which is now Rivers Restaurant. I was just starting my shift so it was about 4 or 5 p.m., and my daughter was in day care in another home in the park.

I decided to leave because I was getting nervous about the fire. As I drove toward West Glenwood I could see the smoke — a lot of smoke. The traffic was horrible on Grand Avenue, and all I could think about was getting home and getting my daughter.

The three or four days are a bit of a blur to me, but I do remember some things very well. Many people in the neighborhood, including us, were watering our roofs. We put the sprinkler up there and ran it for hours.

As the sun started setting, I was amazed at how it looked. It has huge, bright orange and red. We just kept watching the flames coming down the side of the mountain, and it was so scary.

We were on evacuation alert for three or four days. My mom came from New Castle with a truck and picked up some sentimental and special things from our house along with our daughter and our cat. We each packed a bag in case we were evacuated.

I stayed home for those days just in case things got worse. I remember how incredibly sad we were to hear about the fallen firefighters. Our family along with my mom went to the memorial service at Two Rivers Park. It was very heartbreaking hearing all of the speeches by family and fire personnel.

I attended another memorial service a year later. I have visited the memorial in the park many times and it always makes me sad. I have never hiked the Storm King Trail and I don’t know that I ever will, but it gives me a sense of peace somehow knowing that people hike up there and visit the memorials. To me It signifies respect and a tribute to the men and women who lost their lives.

Our family is very grateful for the firefighters who risk their lives every day. I always remember the saying that we will never forget Storm King.

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