Ghost of Midnight

… about neighbors, community and Front Porch Forum

Posting gratitude instead of obituary

Posted on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 by 2 comments

“In the early morning hours of Monday, March 6, my life flipped upside down with the words ‘get out, get out, it’s a real fire!’ Running outdoors in one’s pajamas, into a windchill of -14, is not an experience I recommend to anyone.

“The heroes of our Burlington Fire Department were there in short order, and the Red Cross was behind them by just a few minutes. Wonderful neighbors opened their doors at once and kept them open all night through hours of the interviews, paperwork, and other mundane details of a waking nightmare. Other people’s gloves and heavy coats and bags for retrieving what we could when it was over appeared seemingly out of nowhere. A night that went badly but could have gone far, far worse was made bearable by not going through it alone. Vermonters are the best people in the world.

“I don’t know yet how long I will be displaced. There is a long period of friends’ guest rooms and daily conversations with insurance companies yet to come. There could have been a long period in a burn unit, and I am writing a Front Porch Forum post, not an obituary, so I am very grateful.

“Thanks for listening.

“P.S.–check your smoke detectors!!”

• Holly, Old North End FPF, Burlington

Posted in: Burlington, Community Building, Front Porch Forum, Knight Foundation, Local Online, MacArthur Fellows, Neighborhood, Neighborhood Watch, social capital, Social Networking, Stories, Vermont


  1. Deanna Dunster says:

    God bless our firefighters and neighbors and friends in a time of great need..Compassion is one of Vermonters trade marks if I do say so. Thankful you are alive and not writing an obituary..So very grateful for our unsung heroes..Fire, police and rescue as well as our armed forces..thank goodness we have them..GOd bless you my dear..May you overcome the obsticales in front of you..If in need of items..please don’t hesitate to ask..I am here for you too..Deanna J Dunster, Waterbury, Vt

  2. Cindy Butler says:

    It was a pleasure reading your posting, but for the fact of the fire itself and the items that were lost. As you stated, however, it might have been so much worse. Your heading was very intriguing and I couldn’t imagine to what you were referring…I found out. I absolutely agree with your statement “Vermonters are the best people in the world.” I moved here from my home state of IL, and I wouldn’t live anywhere else. God bless you and your family.

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