My mind has been occupied the past couple of days with thoughts of a tragedy that occurred in Brooklyn, NY over the weekend. A family with 8 children, lost 7 of them to a house fire. The mother and one other child are in critical condition and don't yet know how their world has changed forever. And a father is left to bury 7 kids age 5 to 16. An appliance was left on that malfunctioned and caused the house to go up in flames in the middle of the night. Only one smoke detector was found in the basement while the family slept upstairs. There are no words to help make sense of this. No words that can ever hope to comfort those who mourn this loss. No words to justify.
As with so many horrible tragedies, questions with no answers abound. Would smoke detectors on all the floors have prevented the tragedy? Would they have saved some, if not all lives? Why were there not more smoke detectors in the house? How did the fire spread so fast trapping all of the children? How does a family and a community deal with so monumental a loss? How does a parent carry on? A sibling? Grandparents?
I suppose what makes it so difficult to comprehend is the preventable nature of it. And the size of the tragedy - though one death would be too many. All we can do is do what we can to prevent something like this from happening again. Check your smoke detectors & make sure you have enough. Talk to everyone you know and ask them if they have detectors and when they last checked them. If you have seniors in your life, take the initiative and check theirs. Check appliances. If they don't work properly or seem to be damaged in any way, get rid of them or fix them. Do the same for people in your life who can't do it for themselves.
Fire and Water. Both can be our friend but both can destroy and be unforgiving. We owe it to ourselves and those we love, to make sure we protect ourselves from their dangers.