Lifestyle & Human Interest

After Woman's Home Burns to Ground, Kindhearted Firefighters Find Photos That Move Them to Tears


Fire is both a bringer of life and a destroyer of it. It’s dangerous, and we learn that pretty quickly — but sometimes our love is greater than our fear, and when the flames threaten those we love, we defy sense in order to protect.

One man in California demonstrated that recently when he ran past cars and into his home that was being consumed in a vortex of fire so he could rescue his dog.

He knew his family would be devastated without their pit bull, Gabbana, so he charged through the line of firemen and into the doomed structure.

Thankfully, he managed to get both himself and his dog to safety, and while they both suffered some burns, they’re alive because he had the courage to face death thanks to his commitment to his furry family member.

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Rachael Gossage also faced a fire on March 14 when the duplex she lived in caught fire. While the fire started in her neighbor’s half, it quickly spread to hers, and there was nothing she could do except get out the door with her dog.

“I’m homeless, and now I have nothing,” she told WCIV. While she’s now looking for a place to stay and has lost almost everything she owns, she has a clear perspective on what matters.

“I’m so grateful that none of my neighbors were hurt,” she said. “Homes can be replaced, things can be replaced, but the people that we love can’t be. And our pups.”

She said the scene was terrifying as the duplex went up in smoke.

“We got the door open, and it was just all fire,” Gossage said.

“It was literally raining fire. And the entire roof of that unit was just covered in flames. It was literally an inferno.”

Gossage had been displaced and stripped of her earthly possessions, so the firemen with the Mt. Pleasant Fire Department offered to sift through the ashes to find anything that might bring comfort to her.

“The fireman said, ‘Is there anything we can go back and look for that would be sentimental to you?'” she explained.

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They ended up finding irreplaceable items that had somehow been spared by the flames: some old photos of Gossage’s parents and a jewelry box.

“I start crying and the firemen start crying and is just can’t say enough,” Gossage said. “They were so kind and thoughtful.”

Her friends have banded together to help her out while her insurance sorts her living arrangements. One friend even started a fundraiser for her.

“Our dear friend Rachael lost her Remington Forest home in a fire early Thursday morning,” the GoFundMe page reads. “She was able to save herself, her dog and a few valuable possessions, but she lost everything else.”

“We’re blessed to have Rachael in our lives because she brings so much good and happiness to everyone around her. Now it is time to show our gratitude and help Rachael get back on her feet. She’d do the same for all of us!”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking