On Aug. 2 in the late afternoon I noticed smoke and fire coming out of my attic fan. Clearly there was an active fire in my attic. After getting my family out of the house, I called 911.

While it seemed like hours to us, you folks responded in minutes.

Immediately, you all went to you assigned duties and areas of responsibility.

With over 25 firefighters responding to the call, the fire was brought under control and extinguished, quickly minimizing the damage.

According to one of the offices in charge, the fire was so hot and intense that we were within 10 minutes of losing the entire house. This was avoided by your quick assessment of the situation, appropriate action and bravery.

I must confess, I would never get up on a roof to vent it, knowing that a fire was burning inches below me.

While you fought the fire your officers were in constant contact with me asking about structure particulars, pets, personal property they needed to show consideration for and a host of other things.

As I watched you work, I could not help but see familiar faces – kids who I coached in Little League and soccer, friends I have played baseball and basketball with, others who grew up with my kids and I would wave to as I walked around town. I knew this was not just another fire to you, this was Mr. Mantel’s house.

I also wanted you to know that, a few days after the fire when the insurance adjusters came, they were amazed with the limited damage to the contents of the home. They asked who gathered and tarped all the furniture. When I told them you did, they were stunned. They had never seen such concern and awareness for an owner’s personal property.

When they asked about the number of broken windows, again, when I told them there was only one, they were further amazed. They had never seen venting accomplished by opening windows rather than smashing them out!

They were also amazed with the limited water damage that was done. I told them you worked your hoses from the inside out rather than just pump water into the house.

While one goes through life thinking that these kinds of things do not happen to you – they only happen to others.

In reality, they can and do happen to you.

We are thankful and grateful that you were there when we needed you.

Ed Mantel and family