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We moved into our new Building Nov 1 2003, A 26 x 36 wick steel building with concrete floors and housed 6 kennels and 7 hounds. I worked along time to have such a building. I have been an outdoorsman my entire life so our building also housed all mine and my 2 boys coonhunting equipment, all are tracking collars, tri-tronics field 70 or what we refer to as the extendo leash, All our archery equip, all our Turkey hunting gear, Deer hunting gear, Pheasant hunting gear, all our Hunting clothes and boots, and all of our Fishing gear. I had a wonderful collection of photos from 25 years of exciting hunts, and amongst all our treasures we had 5 talented hounds and 2 very promising young puppies.
I work in a local Factory. I don’t watch much T.V. cause I spend most my time with Mother Nature, I spend anywhere from 2 to 4 hours a day with my hounds walking in the woods and that don’t include nite hunting. That’s the lifestyle I have chosen for myself, and I love every minute of it. To spend quality time with 7 hounds you need that much time every day. I come home form work around 7:15 am, Drink a cup of coffee with my wife and head out to the kennel, clean kennels, feed hounds and go to the woods with the younger hounds. Until around 10 am when I head to bed for some rest. I wake back up around 4 to 6 p.m. and go back training hounds. February 15 2005 was no different. Everything was pretty routine. 10 am I went to bed and at 12 noon I was awaken by a thunderous noise. I looked out my bedroom window and seen nothing. I lay back down and heard the thunder again, This time I got up and as I was walking around the house trying to figure out where this noise was coming from the phone rang. It was my partner Steve Nodean. I grabbed my cordless phone and proceeded out my back door. I no longer said hello when I seen my building engulfed in flames. I yelled, “ I got a fire got to go” with that I hung up and immediately called 911. After reporting the fire I ran out in my briefs and grabbed my garden hose and began battling the flames. The flames where horrific, shooting out of the top, sides and back of the building, sceaming for my hounds I kept spraying the flames but there was no sign of life. My heart was heavy. Realizing I was standing out side in my underwear and help was on its way I ran in and threw on some pants and called my wife, I ran back out and started fighting the Blaze again. All of the sudden I heard SIS begging me to get her out, I sceamed at her and let her know I was there and to hang on, I kept spraying the kennel where I knew she was when I saw her on fire. I kept spraying her with water but the flames were too much and she died before my eyes, I let her know I loved her before she passed, this ripped at my heart. My kennel was glowing red from the heat when all the sudden princess and lady came out in the open and princess was on fire, I kept the water on her putting out the flames, lady freaked out and jumped up on the burning dog box trying to excape the flames. I kept spraying 1 dog then the other praying the fireman would show up before they were consumed by the flames.
My wife arrived and seen me fighting the flames, she screams “did you call 911” I told her I did and informed her I had 2 dogs still alive and I had to get them out. I asked her to grab the hose but she ran right past me through the burning grass and attempted to lift the kennels for the dogs to get out, unfortunately I had them too secure and she could not budge them. The flames were to hot and As she turned and came back at me my wife noticed our friend (Jodie O’Conner) arriving from 2 towns away, she heard about the fire on her scanner. Jodie informed us the Greenfield IA. Fire dept. was lost. My wife yells out “please go find them” and Jodie was on it. As I continued to fight the fire screaming for my surviving hounds to hang on and yelling “where the hell are they’, when I hear my wife yell “there here babe hang on” I look over my shoulder and I see two firemen causally getting out there hose and then I freaked out on them letting them know they better hurry and get me some water cause I had live hounds in here. They did pick up the pace at that point. Next thing I remember was a fireman running down the hill telling me to get back. I was quick to inform him that I had been fighting this fire for a half an hour with my garden hose why they were lost and I was not going anywhere till my hounds were safe. Then 2 fireman and my wife grabbed me trying to calm me down and was pushing me back and I said My hounds are in there I got to get them out and I heard a fireman say Nobody’s going in this building. At that point only God himself could stop me. I yelled “yes I am, get some water on me” and I went right through everybody and as I was entering this inferno I prayed out loud God be with me and busted through the flames. The smoke was so thick I could not see a thing I could hear my wife sceaming for me, I kept praying as I searched for the gates of my kennels, the roof collapsed over my head as I opened the second gate. God was with me because that gate kept the roof from landing on me. I reached in and grabbed princess and carried her out and handed her to a fireman. I immediately ran back in and reached in the burning dog box and grabbed lady, this time however as I ran back out of the building smoke had over took me. My wife told me I yelled, “I got 1 more dog that may be alive” and with that I passed out.
I woke up on our hill approx. 20 minutes later with a oxygen mask and a hoard of people around me asking me a lot of questions. I was not listening I immediately asked about Rose when my wife informed me the firemen got her out. And I could hear Rose and princess treeing, That is when it all hit me and I lost all control of my emotions. My building was a total loss and all of the contents, we lost 2 nite champion hounds and two young pups but we were blessed with saving 3 special girls. The thunder I had heard was a combination of the roof collapsing and propane bottles blowing up.
Steve called me back wondering what the heck was going on and as I began to tell him I had absolutely no control over my emotions and cried uncontrollably. Steve was at a loss for words as I told him what I just expierienced. I had to tell the story quite a few times before I could keep my emotions in check. I am not the type of person that cries very often expessally in public. However this was like losing family.
Well the next thing I know Steve put together a rebuilding crew and they were in route to help rebuild kennels and dog boxes. The crew from left to right Jim Martinson, Steve Nodean, Jim Hill, Myself and my son T.J. I am forever grateful to all of these men. I honestly don’t know if I would have kept going with out them. This was over whelming. If any of these men ever need someone I will drop every thing in a minute and be there as fast as possible with God as my witness. Holding the hounds approx. 10 days later on the left is yours truly and on the right is my youngest son J.R.
The hound with her back end burned is Princess, the hound with her side burned is Rose and Lady lost the pads on her feet and had them surgically removed. Lady lay in our kitchen for a week barely able to lift her head. All hounds have recovered thanks to Glyconutrients we will have a link soon so you all can learn about them and you better believe you need to know about Glyconutrients if you don’t already.
In closing I would like to thank God for my Great friends and my Great Wife and Great kids for every thing, if not for all of you I truly could not move forward Also a special THANKS to my younger sister Cindy who dug right in and helped a lot, my youngest daughter Christina and my mother- in- law for the terrific food they prepared for everybody. You guys are all Great And I Don’t want to leave out Joe Lamb who has been a great friend and Lance Swartz who donated his time and tractor thanks a million everybody Its Because of you that MOSQUITO CREEK IRONWOOD REDBONES is back in business.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL , Romain
Philippians 4:13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens
The road to success is not straight. There is a curve called Failure,
a loop called Confusion, speed bumps called Friends, red lights called
Enemies, caution lights called Family. You will have flats called
Jobs. But, if you have a spare called Determination, an engine called
Perseverance, insurance called Faith, a driver called Jesus, you will
make it to a place called Success!!!!!!!!
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