As reporters, we’re well aware that news can happen anywhere at anytime and that anybody can be involved. But that notion really hit home this week when I got a frantic call from a co-worker who was supposed to be at home recovering from an illness.
As I was preparing to leave the office on Monday night, my phone began to ring and I saw it was my colleague calling. Being the mediocre joker that I am, I answered the phone and remarked that while I was glad to hear from him, I had some concerns that I might catch his illness through the phone. My co-worker swiftly responded by saying “Drew, my apartment building is on fire.” And just like that, my attempted humor went out the window and I ran out the door.
My editor caught wind of the news as well and we both hopped in our cars and headed to the apartment complex. As I found my spot among the fire trucks and the evacuated residents, I was relieved to see my co-worker approach unharmed.
The three of us stood together in the parking lot and watched as the fire crews cleared the building. All in all, one unit was heavily damaged, multiple others saw smoke damage and an estimated 10 to 12 residents were displaced. Fortunately for my co-worker, he was only left with a smoky apartment and a persistent cough.
As the crime and emergency reporter, I sometimes meet people on the worst day of their lives and have to ask them tough questions about their experience or their loss.
I think it’s safe to say that many of us might see an unfortunate or tragic situation unfold and still think that something similar will never happen to us. But as I said earlier, the news can happen anywhere, anytime and to anyone. And when it does, it’s important that we as members of the same community show the same compassion we would want to be treated with.
Happy birthday Wednesday to Odean Weeks, Marilyn Walker and John Robinson, all of Sherman; and Donald Walters.