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-From Jefferson Review, Thursday, January 17, 2002
by Sandy Decker

    Fire-comforting, mesmerizing, used for warmth, cooking and s'mores.

    Fire-devastating, ferocious, burning hot, devouring, fearsome and destructive.

    The second type hit this community early last Friday morning.  The home of Darrell Ward and Jane Hickins was destroyed.Thankfully, neither they nor their pets were injured.  The morning began as any normal day in this household.  Everything was quiet and muffled, as the fog was heavy on Morningstar road.  The phone rang and my husband answered.  It was our son.  I heard my husband say, "I don't know if I can see anything as it's so foggy."  He then went out on the porch and after about a minute I heard him yell, "It's completely engulfed!" and he ran into the house to get dressed shouting at me that the old farm house was on fire.  I went outside and from the porch I could see our driveway, side yard and just into the horse pasture.  Everything beyond that was heavy white fog.  As I strained my eyes, I could hear the fire sirens in the distance and a crackling and spitting.  All of a sudden there was an orange-red glow and flames could be seen rising in the mist about where the roof of the house would be.  As my husband and daughter flew past me and ran up the road I could only pray that no one was inside.  Becoming engulfed in the fog I could hear my family's voices shouting to  "Get Out!" and "Don't enter the house!".  Then from out of the mist, flashing lights appeared.  The command car and ambulance had arrived from Jefferson Fire Department.  It was eerie as only the lights could be seen, no vehicles.  Soon there were fire trucks all over.  The sounds of the water hitting the flames was like grease in a frying pan.  Other vehicles were finding the going rough between the fog, through which you could not see anything 'til almost upon it, and one side of the road was completely blocked with the emergency vehicles.  Neighbor Cory Porter had a client arriving and they ended up in her driveway, where I joined them and my daughter, to watch.  We found out that there was a farmer farther down the road who had been passing by and saw the flames.  He ran up and beat on the door and woke up Darrell and Jane.  He most likely saved their lives, as they were sound asleep, even the dog.  

    Unfortunately, being an older farm home, around 65 years old, the fire devoured everything before being put out.  Albany Fire Department responded with a water tender and engine and Scio an Engine.  The fire was finally subdued completely by 2 pm. 

    A bit of editorial comment here - Please help pass the fire department bond this time as we really could use some new equipment.

    Darrell and Jane are doing as well as expected.  The American Red Cross was notified and offers also came in from the Dever-Conner Community Church and Morningstar Grange.



Last modified: December 05, 2003