My wife and I are grateful to quick-thinking firefighters who went beyond the call of duty and saved important memorabilia when our house caught fire July 11.

To the editor:

My wife and I are grateful to quick-thinking firefighters who went beyond the call of duty and saved important memorabilia when our house caught fire July 11.

A bolt of lightning struck after 9 p.m. that night, beginning a fire in our attic that smoldered and grew for about 30 minutes before we became aware. Though extensive damage occurred that will take many months of reconstruction, we escaped safely and, thankfully, no firefighters were injured.

As we stood on the lawn watching flames leap into the air above our roof we thought about our wall of very old framed family photos, some 130 years old, framed issues of Life Magazine about the Kennedy assassination, newspaper front pages of the landing on the moon, and our many family photo albums on the shelves of our den.

We never mentioned any of those to the brave people working to save our home. But when we finally were allowed to re-enter to retrieve a few effects, we were amazed to see that these things that meant to much to us had been grabbed off of the walls directly under the blazing roof, and piled onto a couch farther away. One of the firemen offered to go into the den, the most severely damaged room, and he retrieved the backup hard drive to our computer.

The photos and magazines sustained only minor water and soot damage and are being restored, and all the computer components are still being dried, cleaned and tested.

The battalion chief kept us informed of what was going on, explaining for example how they were searching for and extinguishing "hot spots" after the blaze itself had been extinguished.

As they packed hoses to leave shortly before 1 a.m., they brought chairs from our deck out to the driveway for us to sit in as we waited by lantern light for the insurance company tarpers to arrive to cover gaping holes in the roof. Again, they did this without being asked.

The Washington Township Fire Department staff has our deep gratitude for these and many other kind actions that night and the next day that went beyond just fighting fires.

Robert Fathman
Dublin