Webster Firefighter Tragedy: It's Not Just About Getting The Interview - 03/07/13
Talking about the Webster ambush that killed two firefighters, injured two others and displaced six families from their homes, is still not easy, three months after the tragedy.
For many, it is still raw, emotions still strong.
I knew that when we headed to Lake Road Wednesday morning. But I was determined to try and find someone who could share their story with us.
We first stopped by the touching memorial to the fallen firefighters. The flag flying in the wind, the flowers, plaques and other memorabilia left as a reminder of lives lost that Christmas Eve Day.
Then we knocked on doors. Many people weren't home. Those that were, declined interviews but invited us into their home to "talk."
News reporters are usually in a race for time. Thinking about getting the story, putting it together, and getting it on the air to meet our deadline.
But, on this day, I knew I couldn't rush to get this story. I entered the homes of kind strangers without a microphone, camera or even a notebook.
I knew this wasn't a time to take notes, but to absorb what these gracious people had to tell me.
Each has a story about how this tragedy has affected them. Some lost their homes, their belongings, their sense of security that day.
One lovely woman answered her door wearing large dark sunglasses. She apologized for her appearance, telling me she had just had cataract surgery and the sunlight peaking in her front door hurt her eyes.
But she didn't shut the door or send me away. She invited me in, wet, muddy boots and all.
She remembered me from a story I had done on the outlet bridge years ago.
She then told me of that horrible day. It was Christmas Eve morning. She woke up smelling smoke and looked out her window to see her neighbor's home on fire.
Hers was the first call to 911 to report what would become one of the most horrific tragedies our community has ever seen.
She lost her home that day. A home she and her husband had lived in since 1972.
But rather than complain about her losses, she spoke of the immense sadness she still feels. The shock over what unfolded that day.
She and her husband went to stay with their daughter. They remained there up until a few weeks ago.