The other afternoon, my wife and I were busy going about our business around the house.
Lynn was in my granddaughters' room straightening up the toys and hanging clothes in the closet, and little Kori sat on the bed watching her Nana work.
I was getting things ready for a service to be held that evening at a local nursing home.
Our little dog, Buster, was laying in his usual spot, on the rug at the front door, sound asleep.
Suddenly, the smoke alarms started shrieking, and Lynn started calling out, "I smell smoke!"
We ran from room to room trying to find the source of the smoke that was filling the hallway of our house.
Buster started whining; and Kori was looking around, smiling, and wondering what the loud blaring noise was.
Lynn opened the door to our laundry area and the smoke billowed out from the dryer.
We found the source of the smoke.
I quickly called 911, and told the operator what was going on. He told me to get everyone out of the house and wait for the fire department.
So, I grabbed Kori and Lynn grabbed Buster and we went out to the front yard.
I heard two sirens in the distance and knew that help was on the way.
So, I traded with Lynn and she took Kori and I got Buster and put him on his chain and I went back inside to assess the situation.
Sure enough, our dryer was on fire.
When the fire truck pulled up outside, I went out to let the firefighters know what was going on.
They hurried into the house and checked out the dryer, and they agreed with me: the dryer was on fire.
It wasn't long and they had the fire out and they hauled the dryer out of the house and out onto the driveway. One of the team started pulling big wads of lint out of the back of the dryer and we realized what had been on fire.
I opened all the doors in the house to start clearing the smoke out, and one of the firemen got a big fan from the fire truck and put it in the open front door. He was thoughtful enough to remove the holiday wreath from the front door and lay it on a chair inside.
The whole time all of this activity was buzzing around us, Kori was sitting with Lynn with a look of wonderment on her face. The wailing smoke alarms and firemen in their suits, and the sirens coming down the street didn't faze her. She was thrilled!
Buster, on the other hand, was having a panic attack!
I knew I wasn't going to make it to the nursing home service that evening, so I called one of the men from church and told him what was happening. Frank told me he and Hazel would take care of it.
Well, after we thanked our local heroes for coming to our aid, and we watched them drive off down the street, Lynn and I thought we had better go and look for another dryer. The old one sat in the driveway, wet, clogged with burn lint, and was just a piece of history.
I am so thankful today for all those people who came to our assistance, from the 911 operator, who calmly assured me that help was on the way; the firefighters who quickly got to work when they got to our house and put out the fire and calmed our fears; to the folks from church who took over and held a great worship service at the nursing home.
Lynn, Kori, Buster and I are very grateful today. We have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Season.
God protected us. The firemen came to our aid. And Lynn got a new dryer.
Thank the Lord! Thank the Lord! And thank you Shelbyville Fire Department!
-- Doug Dezotell is the pastor of Mt. Lebanon UMC and Cannon UMC. He is a former staff writer for the Times-Gazette, and he is a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a friend to many. He can be contacted at email@example.com.