Silhouetted in Flame


by Anonymous Firefighter

Richard Charniga
An apartment fire in 1994 claimed the lives of two young children. Firefighters, including the author of this poem, were at this fire during a twenty-two inch blizzard. 

As the alarm comes in we all know it’s really bad.
The fire escapes are full of people who will soon lose everything they have ever had.
We run right in because we soon hear that two children are trapped in the second floor rear.

The firefighters are at the door silhouetted in flame.
Their attempts to make entry are made in vein.
We call for a hose to reach the fire floor but the fire will not wait and has decided to take more.
Two little lives that could not find the door.

And as this has not been enough to bear, we soon learn that the fire is now everywhere.
This heartless beast has won the first fight.
And tests our endurance until the first daylight.

Hours later frozen and beaten we start to win.
Now it is time to go back in.
We all know in a matter of time that someone will have to make that dreaded find.

It is late in the station house as I lay in my bed.
These visions I keep seeing will not leave my head.
We have all fought many fires and no two are the same.

I will never forget the one where the firefighters were silhouetted in flame.