Olalla fire has implications for other property owners

I awoke about 12 a.m. to a funny noise, much like firecrackers – but not quite.

To the Editor:

A Wakeup Call

I awoke about 12 a.m. to a funny noise, much like firecrackers – but not quite. Sitting up in bed I noticed an interesting glow outside my bedroom window. I got up and peered out, and got a whiff of smoke. Then I heard a “whump” and a myriad of sparks flew up from the source of the glow – and I realized with alarm that there was a serious fire close by!

I grabbed my cell, threw on my jacket and called my neighbors on the way out the door. We met out on the driveway and quickly walked up to Main Street, where to our horror we saw what looked like the entire south end of Olalla up in flames.There was already a fire-fighting squad there amidst the blaze and smoke, water powerfully spraying the flames. More explosions kept us from walking closer, and we wondered how anyone could survive such a furious blaze.

Sparks were flying everywhere, the nearby trees were clearly engaged with fire, and we quickly turned back to our homes worried that the clouds of sparks might set off additional fires. Once home, we could see that the sparks were staying above the homes, thankfully, and so we hurried back to Main Street.

An ambulance and more fire trucks had arrived, and we could hear still more fire trucks on the way. Paramedics were guiding a burned person, obviously in shock, to the waiting ambulance. As we watched the team of fire fighters battle the flames, we were suddenly amazed to see a familiar figure – Koroly in her scooter, along with one of her brothers.

She turned and recognized us and called us over, and in amazement we watched her pull out all of her little doggies, which were inside her jacket, in each of the pockets, in her scooter basket, and under the scooter seat.

She let us know that everyone had gotten out, including the doggies, and despite the overwhelming appearance of the blaze, the house was not touched by the fire. It was miraculous that no lives were lost.

It was clear by this time the fire fighting team had the blaze under control and it would soon be extinguished. The explosions had stopped, the fire amidst the trees was out and the core of the blaze – the collection of vehicles along Main St, was being inundated by water from numerous fire hoses. We felt that those fire fighters certainly deserve medals for their brave battling of the fire amidst all the explosions.

Thankful that no lives were lost, and wishing positive thoughts for a quick recovery to the burn victim; I comprehend that indeed, a miracle has taken place. It could easily have been very much worse. Perhaps this blaze serves as a wakeup call for each of us that live in Olalla to take the responsibility of finding ways to clear out the rusting reminders of the past, to keep our community safe – and beautiful.

Phyllis Straub, Olalla