In a testament to the finer qualities of our readers, tragic news such the fatal house fire Sunday draws a tandem of responses.
The first response is one of shock mixed with sadness. Close behind comes the thought, often expressed aloud: What can we do to help?
In the wake of Sunday morning's tragedy, there are several things we can do.
First, we can provide relief to the survivor. A bank account has been opened to assist Anna Angel, whose five children and boyfriend died in the fire. First Call for Help, in conjunction with the local chapter of the American?Red Cross, is handling material donations.
Another thing we can do is pray. Pray for the family and friends of those who perished. Pray for the young woman who is left to press on in the face of horrific loss. And say a prayer of thanks for those who tried to rescue the family from the flames, and of gratitude that you have been spared a similar fate.
Then, make certain you are prepared in case such a disaster were to strike. The Red Cross offers three key pieces of advice:
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Test them every month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
Talk with all household members about a fire escape plan - then practice the plan twice a year.
Most important, if a fire does occur in your home, get out, stay out and call for help.
An appropriate response to this fatal blaze is to take steps to make it less likely to ever happen again.