Two grateful Big Canoe dogs thank the Big Canoe Firefighters who came to their rescue when lightning started a fire near their home. Pictured (l. to r.) B-Shift Firefighter Josh Young and Firefighter Isaac Holaway along with Yukon (7 years) and Katie (3 years). Not pictured: Lieutenant Mario Tilelli. Photo by Neal Singer.
Big Canoe Firefighters are heroes to two pups
BY SANDIE TATE
I’ve often passed the beautiful new Big Canoe Firehouse and Emergency Centers without giving a thought to the personnel who keep our community safe. That all changed with the electrical storm that lit up the night sky in North Georgia during the early morning hours of July 13.
A lightning strike took out our irrigation and pond system and triggered a fire that started below ground in the irrigation box. Soon the fire was crawling under the pine straw and lighting up the shrubs, flowering plants and trees in our yard.
Three Big Canoe Fire and Rescue personnel—Lieutenant Mario Tilelli, Firefighter Isaac Holaway, and Firefighter Josh Young—arrived on the scene and began putting out the flames within minutes of a frantic 3 a.m. call to 911.
They checked out the home assuring us it was safe to return inside. Their immediate response meant so much, especially since our two beloved Bernese Mountain dogs were at our home with a good friend while we were out of town. I could only listen in on the phone while these men went into action.
We are very fortunate to have these three dedicated professionals and those that support them in our community. I encourage you to stop in at the firehouse and get to know these hometown heroes before you ever need to call on them.
I learned the hard way that lightning is one of the most erratic and unpredictable characteristics of a thunderstorm as it can strike many miles from the storm. Please do not wait for the rain before seeking shelter in a storm and do not mess with mother nature. Katie and Yukon have decided that a fireman can be a dog’s best friend in an emergency as well as on a friendly visit to the station house to give a warm tail-wagging thank you for their bravery!