Of all the calls second-generation Columbia Firefighter Josh Wall has responded to in his 12-year tenure with the department, Friday morning's hit closest to home.
“I knew it was my next door neighbor's house,” Josh Wall told Nashville's News 2. “We responded just like we normally would.”
While en route to the fire, he phoned to check on his wife Megan and their three kids. They were safe, but it was his house that was burning, not the neighbor's.
“When I figured out it was my house, of course, you get that sinking feeling,” Wall said. “Then all we could do was fight it like we normally do. The fire appears to have started in the attached carport.
The barking of the family's two dogs was the warning sign that woke his wife Megan and the kids.
“I walked over to the door and I lifted the blinds and it was just orange, just glowing,” Megan Wall told Nashville's News 2.
She managed to get everyone out of the house before the fire spread from the carport into the interior of the home.
The fire destroyed nearly everything.
“We usually come and put the fire out and then take care of the family the best we can, but then we go back to the station,” said Josh Wall.
Friends, neighbors and other Columbia firefighters stopped by to offer support for the Wall family.
Though so many material possessions were destroyed, the family is thankful to still have what matters most.
“The house is replaceable, the contents are replaceable. Family is not replaceable,” said Josh Wall.
If you would like to help the Wall family, the Columbia Fire Department is accepting donations at Fire Station #1 in downtown Columbia.