Firefighters, police earn thanks

To the editor:

I wanted to take this opportunity to express the most sincere gratitude on behalf of myself and my husband for the professionalism and tireless efforts of the Toronto police and firefighters and firefighters from Stratton and Empire who responded to a structure fire at 1305 N. Fifth St. in Toronto on Dec. 31.

My husband happened to be up and saw the lights of the responding vehicles and only when there was pounding on our own door by Toronto police who informed us that we had to flee our own home as a safety precaution, did we realize the seriousness of the possibility of fire spreading from this next door inferno to our own home. Moving quickly, we grabbed a few things, and while I fled to the neighbor’s home on the other side of our home, my husband stayed behind, ready to run a water hose through our home and water down the side of our home to prevent embers from igniting a fire on our home. This, however, was unnecessary, due to the professionalism and valiant work done by the firefighters.

The house next door was fully engulfed when we were told to leave and one could see the hard work of the firefighters as they directed water to the front and side of the engulfed home, driving flames back and away from ours, but also, and as a protective measure, soaking the side of our house as well. Given the weather conditions, the water turned to ice, causing the firefighters to slip and fall, but never did they cease their extreme efforts. At one point, my husband made coffee in an effort to help warm the firefighters in the freezing temperatures, but all politely refused because they did not want to cease their fight to bring this fire under control. The fire destroyed the home, but our home was spared as a direct result of their hard work and knowledge of firefighting skills.

I have always been proud to be a resident of Toronto for many reasons, not the least of which is due to the dedication, service and quick actions by Toronto and surrounding area law enforcement and fire departments.

So, on behalf of me and my husband, Robert, I most sincerely say thank you to the Toronto Police Department; the Toronto Street Department for salting the icy road in front of the house; to fire Chief Frank McEwen and the Toronto firefighters; and the firefighters of Stratton and Empire for their hard work under dangerous conditions.

Pam Volsky