By Barbara Behling, American Red Cross, Communications Officer
On Monday, January 14th, the day started like any other for one Montello family. The father is up early and driven to work. His wife is home with a 4-year old and a younger pair of twins. What is then captured on the mother’s 911 call is harrowing as the house has started on fire.
She swiftly gathered the children in an up-stairs bedroom. The 911 dispatcher (audio provided by Channel 3000) keeps her calm, instructs her to close the door, hug the floor as much as you can and open the window. Nothing was beneath them so she was not able to jump safely. You can hear the kids crying, the oldest even asked “are going to die?” She reassures them. Beep. Beep. Beep. The phone went silent.
Due to the fast-acting dispatcher and Montello and Princeton Fire Departments the children and the mom were rescued. After a few days in the hospital, they were all released.
The American Red Cross Disaster Team in Marquette County has been working with the family to help provide their basic needs. Not just a plan to move forward, we’ve provided glasses, medications, financial assistance and when the kids were handed Teddy Bears and Mickey Mouse dolls, their faces lit-up.
You see all their possessions except the diapers on their bottoms were lost. The kids even had great fun in selecting their own blankets. The parents were presented with hand-made quilts from the Coloma Quilting Club and the kids were giddy with their Kohl’s blankets one with a blue monkey, one with basketballs and yes, the other with Teddy Bears.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors and our disaster workers, we make, building new, memories possible.