We've received many messages asking about the fire on Broad St. yesterday morning. Our building was unaffected, but other properties sustained smoke and water damage. Still, we want to share the story from our perspective, and thank all those who braved the cold and icy conditions to help - and that should be HELP in all capital letters - someone else.
We were on our way to breakfast yesterday morning when we noticed thick smoke coming from the direction of the bake shop, but from where we were it could have been over the river and on the south side. We were a little concerned, but not worried, so we went inside to eat breakfast.
Over the last few years, I've learned the value of being connected to the community through social media, and immediately went to Twitter to see if there was discussion of a fire. I didn't see anything in my feed, so I queried the Twitterverse. "Checking in, is there a building on fire in South Bethlehem? Can see smoke from Elizabeth Ave." It was somewhat cryptic shorthand, but I knew someone would understand and reply.
Now we were more than a little concerned. But we finished our breakfast, paid the bill, and casually walked back to the car, noticing that the smoke was still visible, but not worse than it was earlier.
As we drove closer, those feelings of internal panic came over both of us, but neither one of us would say it out loud. Once we reached Broad St. and could see what was happening, we were obviously relieved to find that the building that was on fire was not ours. But, we were saddened to see the building burning a few doors up the street. And in that very same moment the panic subsided very quickly, and speaking for myself, turned into shortness of breath and adrenalin rush.
Gail and I both knew we should do something. But it seemed like an empty gesture. We decided that the best we could do was let the American Red Cross workers know that our door was open if any of the firefighters needed food, hot beverages, a place to get warm or use the bathroom. That small gesture turned out to be very valuable. Think about that, if you care to. When disaster strikes, we all have essential needs that must be met.
So that's the story, from our perspective down the street.
We're very appreciative of the City of Bethlehem Emergency Services and Public Works for their efforts yesterday. One more reason to be proud of our town.
Here is a link to Sarah's article about the fire.