Firefighter, wife have narrow escape
Home of Bay Roberts volunteer goes up in flames
Fire is ravaging the inside of Rick Edmunds’ Shearstown home. The smell of burning wood fills the early morning air.
Flames burst from the side of the structure, like a caged animal escaping from its steel prison.
The intense heat immediately turns the white siding of the split-level home into a liquid paste, dripping onto the ground below and hanging like ribbons.
Within moments, the snow on the ground near the home melts from the searing heat.
It’s a familiar scene for Edmunds, who is an officer with the Bay Roberts Volunteer Fire Department. It is the sort of thing he has seen before during his seven years with the brigade.
Though in this case, it’s personal because it’s his home going up in flames.
Edmunds is no ordinary fire victim. He knows what the responding firefighters will do, though it doesn’t make it any easier.
“It didn’t take long for the boys to get here,” he told The Compass as he stood in his smoke-damaged living room a few days after the Dec. 19 fire.
“When you make the call and it’s your property, it seems like forever for them to get there.”
Instincts kicked in
Edmunds knew what to expect when he made the call. He knew his fellow volunteers would rush to the fire hall, don their bunker suits and drive to the scene in a pumper truck and rescue unit.
When they arrive, Edmunds instinctively shifts from victim to emergency responder. He unfurls hoses and helps connect them to the hydrant in front of his property.
“You’re just so used to it and you try and help out the best you can,” says Edmunds.
Eventually, Edmunds stands back and watches as his fellow firefighters fight the blaze burning the dwelling he had lived in for the past decade with this wife Stephanie.
Bay Roberts Mayor Phillip Wood appears at Edmunds’ side after the blaze has been extinguished, offering words of solace and encouragement.
Rick Edmunds is a lieutenant with the Bay Roberts Volunteer Fire Department. On Dec. 19, his Shearstown home went up in flames.