Congo · Congostyle

Fire in Congo

This is an amazing story, and it’s fresh off the press.I got woken up this morning by a phone call from my dad saying “We’ve had a fire. We’re OK, but we had a fire and the entire house almost burned down!”. I had enough time to make sure they were OK, say I love you and then he was gone.

An hour later dad calls back, and I hear laughter in the background is laughing. Dad says “Hi kid! So the fire is put out. The firemen are here, but they came without water in the truck, so they had to borrow water from the gas station down the road. Tommy (our naughty new lab puppy) is asleep in the driver’s seat. The roof melted, but we stopped the fire before it got to the bedrooms. It was like in a movie, people were passing buckets of water and sand in a line. Wait a minute, here talk to people, I have to get money out.”

A few notes are in order now about the conversation above.

First, yes, you read that right, the firemen came without water in their truck. And in Congo there aren’t fire hydrants.

The people I had to talk to, were all members of the National Baha’i Asembly of Congo. For those of you who don’t know too much about the Baha’i Faith, there are groups of nine people at the local level and at the national level who basically do administrative work for the community, and take care of issues in the community, so their responsibility ranges from purchasing property, legal status of the community, socio-economic development activities. The national assembly deals with important, big stuff on a national level. So when the national assembly of Congo found out my parents were having a fire, at 8 PM, they all canceled their meeting, and RAN to my parents house and started throwing water and sand on the fire. They were the people I was talking to while dad was getting money out. Some of them I’ve known since I was 14 and I was laughing with them at their funny comments and light-hearted stories abou the night. No one goes through a crisis like Africans, it’s amazing to witness.

The money dad was getting out was to pay the firemen. Yes, that’s right. CONGOSTYLE! He had to get a few hundred dollars out to pay the firemen for their work, and to compensate the employees of the school who stayed and put out the fire.

It was a close call, because it happened at 8 PM and not 3 AM. My parents are fine, they’re laughing, theyr’e surrounded by friends, and the puppy is at the wheel.

Dad called back another half hour later and said that I could not imagine how scary it is to be caught in the middle of a fire. He said that five minutes later, the entire house, and everything they have in this world would have been gone. He said it was such a close call, they were protected by God. I can believe it. I mean…untrained people contained a fire with buckets, when the firemen showed up late and without water. Everything is made out of wood and the fire was raging, it only stopped one room short of where my parents live. Daily life and small miracles. I’m so happy they are OK, I’m so happy they live where they live and that they were surrounded by community!

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