Letter writer thanks Ryan, Mehlville firefighters ‘for a job well done’

To the editor:

This letter is one of thanks and recognition for a job well done.

Several years ago at 5 a.m., I was awakened by a neighbor who was banging on my front door and yelling “fire” — “fire” — “fire,” as he beat on my front door. And he didn’t stop until I opened the door. His quick and decisive action saved my home and maybe even my life.

It was a hectic moment. I was stumbling to get out of the house and found the area on the side of my carport was ablaze. While the neighbor was giving directions to the 911 emergency operator, I got my truck out of the carport and then started trying to put out the fire with my little garden hose. At the same time, the first of three fire trucks had arrived. Firefighters were laying out their hoses and they immediately got into action.

With two fire trucks now on the scene, the neighbor — whose name I still did not know — knew that the home would be saved and he continued on his way to work. His car was right in the middle of the street, blocking easy access for the fire trucks, so it had to be moved. I quickly said thanks as he departed with the arrival of the third fire truck. The MFPD firefighters were taking no chances. I was later told that a fire in a garage or carport can quickly take over the whole home.

Only months later when I attended a Mehlville Fire Protection District board meeting regarding the budget, did I find the good neighbor who helped save my home and truck was board member Ed Ryan.

Being retired and living only on Social Security and income from selling tomatoes in the summer, it would have been devastating if my home had burned to the ground or had been badly damaged.

So I continue to be thankful for Mr. Ryan alerting me and to MFPD firefighters so that the fire could be stopped before it got going too much.

Besides helping put out the fire, MFPD paramedics also checked out my vital signs, as the whole ordeal had me quite worked up.

I have to add that I am happy with the fact that Mr. Ryan and the reform board have kept the tax rate substantially lower than when we had a board that had no concern for the senior citizen on a limited income.

This fire board, the reformers — Aaron Hilmer, Bonnie Stegman and Ed Ryan — have done such an unbelievably great job.

I am supporting Mr. Ryan for his re-election.

Art Kuhn