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70-Year-Old Man Goes Back into Burning Home. Dies Saving Sleeping Wife from Fire

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Everybody wants an epic love story. Hollywood usually frames powerful stories as being between young people or a 58-year-old man and his 28-year-old mistress.

Our love stories, though, are in lives lived well together.

It is about the integrity we show each other in the tough times, rough patches, and wholly mundane of it all.

Love is really in the small acts of devotions and fidelity that add up to the big moments of love. Harold Morse showed big love which, I am sure, was informed by a life of small moments.

When his apartment building caught on fire, Morse went back inside to wake his wife.

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She had been sleeping and he noticed she had not left the building with him.

He was able to wake his wife, but fell victim to smoke inhalation. “He came back in to get her, and he didn’t make it out,” said Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins.

“We had heavy fire all the way throughout this apartment so it got a pretty good head start on us,” Jenkins said.

Three units were damaged and six people are now homeless.

After his wife got free of the fire, she told firefighters that she thought her husband was inside.

They found his body after they were able to control the flames and move into the interior.

“If you knew them before, you would know that they were kind of a unit together. They loved each other very much,”  neighbor Michelle Cockfield said.

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“I told his wife, ‘Your husband is your hero,’” Jenkins reportedly said. “He sacrificed himself for you.”

Heroic love is powerful and I hope all of us are inspired to follow in his footsteps.

I hope our inspiration goes beyond just a willingness to rush back into a burning building.

We can imitate Morse’s love by being prepared for emergencies. I hope all of us are willing to run back into burning buildings and I hope our forethought means we never have to.

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