Fire at Midnight

We were sleeping hard when Dagmar woke us up last night. It was almost midnight.

“Hey Dad – they just called the ambulance out. There’s a fire at Heartland.”

The news took a minute to sink in.

Heartland is the small wind turbine company where Jan works.

We laid back down – in shock.

Mentally I gave Jan fifteen minutes to decide to drive in and see what was going on. He only took twelve and half. As soon he jumped out of bed – so did I. There was no way I was letting him go to this fire alone.

We scanned the horizon as we drove through the blackness of midnight. The last time we were speeding through the dark at that time of night – I was in labor. We both wondered if this event would be as life-changing.

The smoke was heavy in the air as we pulled up to the building. No flames could be seen – just thick heavy smoke and lots of flashing lights.

The fire was in the second building, where the blades are manufactured.

Volunteer firemen from 3 different communities were there.

Yes, volunteers. Risking their lives with no pay. I will never again look at the firemen tossing candy from the pumper truck in the local parade the same way again. Those guys are heroes. Just saying.

We carefully maneuvered our way through the labyrinth of fire trucks and hoses to the small huddle of Heartland employees, watching the scene with shocked expressions.

It was a little surreal.

And sad. Very, very sad.

What would this mean?

How can a small 6 year company recover from a blow like this? How much damage would there be – not just to the building but also to the equipment?

This is special equipment – much of it designed and made by the guys themselves. Six long, hard years of labor.

As we watched the firemen cut a hole in the roof and lower themselves down – I had to take a deep breath and remind myself that God was still in control.

And there was peace in the midst of the chaos.

We managed to get a few hours of sleep last night but Jan was back at Heartland early this morning when the firetrucks were called back in to put out a flare-up.

Before he left, he held my hand and prayed over his hastily prepared breakfast, “Lord, we know that none of this is a surprise to You. We know that you are in control. We trust you.”

And there is still peace.

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