Fire chief Keith Brower was en route to a home fire when mayday was called. "I was approximately seven to eight miles out, and my heart stopped,” Brower says. “It literally froze me. It was chilling.”
Fortunately, four firefighters escaped the burning home, but one sustained serious burns. His injuries forced him to retire. “When I see this firefighter, I don’t know what to say,” Brower says, “I really feel awkward saying, "Hey, how’s it going?‟ because I know how it’s going. He’s partly incapacitated. He can’t do the job he loves."
Brower has been a vocal advocate for home fire sprinklers since the 2008 fire, often wondering why such a life-saving device has such equally vocal opponents. "We used to have a saying that we could fight fire in a building for eight hours," he says. "The building would burn down before it would fall down." With newer home environments, he adds, that's not the case.
People from all walks of life are impacted by home fire. Please watch and share Brower's story, one in a series of NFPA's Faces of Fire campaign: