Monthly Archives: December 2013

Rosalia Home Fire – 5243 NE 53rd St.

IMG_1478 Good4 Good2The fire started on the backside of the home and it quickly ran up the wall into the eve of the roof.  The homeowner tried to suppress the fire with a garden hose until fire crews arrived, but the fire made it into the roof segment – which turned out to be a tight weaved maze.

The roof was built with truss rafters – a maze of small dimension lumber sandwiched together with metal gussett plates.  The bottom of the rafters – which was the ceiling – was sandwiched with 5/8″ sheetrock.  The top was sandwiched with plywood, which was sandwiched with ashphalt shingles, which was sandwiched with metal tin.  It was a firefighter access nightmare.

The time onscene was approaching the four hour mark when firefighters were finally comfortable in calling the fire “under control.”

Firefighters tried everything they could to get things done sooner.  The firefighters removed the gable ends of the roof, but the cathedral construction afforded them no advantage with that approach.  The firefighters removed sections of the roof, but the open maze roof trusses simply let the fire move into other areas of the roof.

Chief Bender and the Rosalia Firefighters were aided by Chief Moody and the City of El Dorado Firefighters.   Over thirty firefighters assisted with the arduous fire fight.

Good5IMG_1469Some of the family’s keepsakes were salvaged, but the majority of their valuables were either damaged or destroyed.  Two pets were yet to be found as of the time of this writing.

The Red Cross was on scene assisting the family.   Luckily, no injuries were reported to either family or firefighters.  Butler County Medics were also on scene in case there was an injury or illness, as well as providing rehab for firefighters.

It was reported that some hot coals were placed around a plastic trashcan that sat next to the exterior wall in the area of fire origin.  At this time the cause of the fire is under investigation.



Happiness is a Choice

Potato headMy son recently sent me a link to an article written by a Portuguese photographer.  The photographer traveled to a garbage dump in Africa where upwards of 700 people live.  These people forage amongst the waste for food and recyclables.  Words can’t describe the human suffering depicted in the photos.

Yet, what struck the photographer most was, “Despite all the circumstances of how they live, they keep on showing their kindness and happiness and hospitality” he said.

Emergency responders don’t see anything remotely similar to that garbage dump in Africa, but we are in a “worst day of your life” business. And, yet it doesn’t appear to me we’re any less happy than the population at large. Why is that?


Here’s my theory.

I believe happiness is a choice. And yes, happiness might be an easier choice given favorable circumstances, yet it’s still a choice.

I compare it to Mr. Potato Head. You can dress Mr. Potato Head however you choose and give him whatever expression you choose. And, the smile is no different coupled with the fanciest ensemble versus the most modest.

This realization might be what depresses many who work their entire lives with the goal of wealth. Once wealth is attained it doesn’t guarantee happiness.

There’s a song recorded by Bobby McFerrin called “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” The ending goes like this: “Put a smile on your face – Don’t bring everybody down like this – Don’t worry, it will soon pass – Whatever it is – Don’t worry, be happy.”

If you don’t think every day is a great day, schedule a ride-along with your local fire or ambulance service. You may see someone that’s not going to have another day. That might be what brings it into perspective for those at the garbage dump.

Christmas Traveling – In Kansas

Land of AhsCrouched in a ditch peering into the passenger’s side of an overturned SUV on a two-lane highway; thirty mile-per-hour wind; ten degree temperature; semi-trucks barreling by like their racing home to catch their favorite team’s game-winning field goal.

How do marketers describe this Kansas fun?

“There’s No Place Like Home”  ~ What was Dorothy thinking when she clicked those ruby shoes together? I’m sure she wasn’t thinking about landing back in Kansas on a winter day. If the Tin Man didn’t fabricate some cleats on the bottom of Dorothy’s slippers, she would have landed right on her caboose. That might have launched her into a “Somewhere over the Rainbow” with a few new verses. Marketers are so funny.

“Kansas as Big as You Think” ~ Most folks don’t see how big Kansas is during the winter because they usually only have a two-inch circle cleared on their windshield. Maybe the marketers were referring to the monstrous icicle spears hanging off my house gutters. Or, they might have been describing the snow drifts you get with forty mile-per-hour winds rifling across flat land. Marketers are so funny.

“Simply Wonderful” ~ I thought it was simply wonderful when I passed a salt truck yesterday and several of his rocks pelted my windshield. Yep, simply wonderful were the exact words I uttered when I noticed the two left-over smiley face circles cracked into my windshield. Marketers are so funny.

“Land of Ahhs” ~ Kansas is certainly the Land of Ahhs. When are the times we might use an “Ahh” to describe something during a Kansas winter? How about when we watch cars slide sideways down the road? Ahh is also what I usually say when I open my truck door and the wind blows my paperwork into the next county. Of course I usually add another word onto my ahh. Maybe the slogan writers just forgot the other word? Marketers are so funny.

Being a life long resident, I do love Kansas. But, I think our marketers should have put an asterisk beside their slogans:

*Except in Winter

Wonderful People of El Dorado


Audrey and Firefighters Tyler Graves & Michael Rose
Audrey and Firefighters Tyler Graves & Michael Rose

The Citizens of El Dorado are mighty special people – and boy can they make delicious treats.

Audrey and Kent Kallenberger brought by a wonderful tray of assorted goodies.  It’s a good thing that Audrey sees the firefighters at the YMCA, because they are going to be in need of using that facility after they consume the tasty treats.

The Firefighters say, “Thank you Audrey and Kent!”