“Crash, stay in the house and lock the door, we will be there in 10 minutes or less. I will beat on the door and yell when we get there, so do not shoot me,” I replied.
“LET’S GO, SECURITY CARS WITH LIGHTS, GRAB YOUR GUNS,” I yelled as I headed to the door.
Tony, Kathy and Janet were behind me. Each of the girls was using an unmarked security car with the police package and since the covered parking area had been finished, an assigned parking spot to make everything easier. Jenny used her state car for everything.
The up-fitters were doing all kinds of things to the cars; heaver shocks, approved high-speed tires and other performance enhancements. By the time we got to the split, we were in a convoy running well over a hundred with the lights on. The girls had listened well; we were strung out with enough stopping distance between us.
Jenny had hired the same drivers training company that the state used to give emergency driving course to all the security employees. I had insisted that all the girls take it. It turned out to be fun, especially when he took all of us to the local dirt track. It was some kind of slippery clay when wet, and they watered the hell out of it. It was great for learning skid control.
Before we arrived at the turnoff for Morton Farm Lane, a county sheriff and a state police car had joined in. I could just imagine the conversation going on over the radio frequency. “Who are these people? What agency are they from?”
I was ½ a mile ahead of the others when I made the turn onto Morton lane. It ran a mile in a hedge row before it made a right turn into the open 1300 acre field and then a mile to the house and buildings.
When I made the turn into the open field a set of headlights came on near the farmhouse and started moving this way. They were in a big hurry by the way they were bouncing in the rough lane.
Ten seconds later the farm house erupted in a fire ball. “They killed Crash or they are going to burn him alive,” I thought. I held it to the floor and steered as best as I could towards the house.
“Did you ever play chicken Tony?” I asked.
“NO NOT LIKE THIS,” he replied.
The gap closed fast. When we were about fifty yards apart, the pickup turned right and took to the field to miss us. The pickup was the same white pickup with the bent driver’s side body that the nephews had driven to the house today.
I keyed the mike on the radio to the cars that were just making the turn into the field. “STOP THAT TRUCK. SHOOT THE ENGINE OUT IF YOU HAVE TO. TRY NOT TO HIT THE PASSENGERS.”
There were headlights in my mirror moving in all directions while they were trying to set up a road block, everyone yelling all kinds of instructions on the radio. The girls had never practiced that; I wondered how it would work out.
As I pulled to a stop in front of the house, fire was all around the outside. “Tony, there is a fire extinguisher by your leg,” as I hit the button for the trunk.
On the advice of our EMT employees we had put 2 extinguishers in the cars; a 2 pound in the front and a 10 pound in the trunk.
“Tony, the door is the middle of the porch. Try to knock the fire down there,” I said as I headed to the trunk.
Tony had never used a fire extinguisher in an emergency. He knocked a little down but basically it was a waste. He was too far away and had the discharge nozzle everywhere but where it needed to be.
I ran as close as I could because of the heat. I smelled gasoline. In a way that was good because it burnt off quickly and then the fire diminished, leaving only what it had ignited. Burning Jet A or diesel started slow and just kept growing more intense.
I flooded the floor of the porch in front of and beside the door with ansul, knocking the fire down. I guess me running into the fire had given Tony some balls. He was beside me emptying what was left in the 2 pounder.
I stopped spraying when I thought the extinguisher was ½ empty. I shoved the extinguisher at Tony, yelling to be louder than the fire, “I’M GOING IN. SAVE THIS UNTIL I YELL THAT I AM COMING OUT THEN HIT BOTH SIDES OF THE PORCH BY THE DOOR. DO NOT SPRAY ME IN THE FACE WITH THAT CRAP.”
I ran up to the door while ducking flames. I had told Crash to lock the door and I would knock. I kicked the door hard a couple times then put everything I had into the next one. The door literally flew open and fell onto the floor. There was a big rush of air and heat and windows blew out as I rushed in yelling for Crash.
He was on the couch by the back wall. An old hammer shotgun lay open across his legs like he was trying to load it. There was blood on the side of his face. With the adrenaline rush I was under I picked him up and threw him over my shoulder like a sack. For some reason I picked up the shotgun. I turned to see the door was nothing but a wall of flames.
The heat was getting to me; I had to get out now or it was over. I yelled “I’M COMING OUT” and headed towards the door and flames.
Just seconds before I got to the flames they died down and I saw Tony and Ching Lee blasting both sides of the doorway with the powder. I ran past them and away from the porch before I fell to my knees.
As I dropped Crash to the ground he started coughing and cussing, “Those dad-blain nephews tried to kill me. They came in the door and knocked me out before I could lock it.”
There was some god-awful smell all around me, then I realized it was the smell of my singed hair, I wondered how much I had left. It didn’t matter; the only way to get rid of the smell was to cut it all off.
It was then that I noticed that there were people and fire trucks everywhere. They were dumping heavy amounts of water on what was left of Crash’s house. There would be nothing but ash by the time it was out.
In between the gagging and coughing I asked for water. I rinsed my mouth out several times and blew water out my nose to rinse the crap out of my sinuses.
The first medics arrived. Abby and Kristin – who worked part time in the gym – were in the county ambulance. They began to work on both of us.
“A close haircut, a lot of aloe and new clothes and you will be no worse for wear,” Kristin said. “The sunglasses protected your eyes.” I did not even remember putting them on.
I heard Tony talking to someone and realized it was the media, “She ran into the burning house and pulled him out!”
The girls had all assembled at the back of the ambulance. “We’re sorry BJ, both of them were shot. The Deputy and the State Police officer were shooting. We did not shoot for the cab. They rammed into us – one car is junk. The medics said they are going to live.”
The fire was finally out by the time the medics determined that I was OK. One of the Island fire officers that I knew stepped to the back of the ambulance. “You’re either the bravest person I know or the dumbest,” he said.
“Most likely the last one fits,” I replied.
“Do you have enough water left that you can rinse me off?” I asked him. I was grungy with soot and covered with ansul powder from the fire extinguishers and also stunk from the singed hair.
“Sure, but it will be cold,” he said.
“OK, I will be right out – set it up,” I replied
I asked Vicky to get my go-bag out of the car as I stripped off my rags and handed the hardware and phone to Jenny.
Six firemen made a circle to block the view as I washed off with the soap and a light spray from the fire hose. Wrapped in a towel, I made my way back to the ambulance to dress.
Crash was carried to the hospital for observation for the head wound. The two nephews were carried out by chopper. The crap was going to hit the fan tomorrow. It was 4 AM when we walked into the house. We were on the early morning news cycle again.
Edit by Alfmeister