Bureacratic Inferno by Lucille Harmon by Lucille Harmon - Read Online

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Bureacratic Inferno - Lucille Harmon

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Chapter 1

The Fire

Lu. He said softly. Sound asleep, I didn't hear.

Lu, wake up. The house is on fire.

This time I heard! Flying out of bed, I grabbed my robe and told him Get Tony, I'll get the baby.

Throwing on my robe as he hustled towards our son’s room, I ran to grab my seven-month-old son Shane. Snatching him from his crib, I met my husband and seven-year-old Tony in the hallway. Together we ran down the hall, flames licking the walls, smoke alarms screaming.

I had glanced in the bathroom as we ran down the hall. Seeing flames on the wall behind the sink, I continued running and saw flames in the kitchen. Turning to go out the front door, there were flames along the wall next to the door! The entire house seems to be burning!

Running across the rocks on the front yard, I became vaguely aware my poor son had nothing on his feet, as he screamed in pain. My husband picked him up, tucked him under his arm and we ran across the street to our neighbor’s house.

A second marriage for both of us, we were very happy together. I got pregnant with my baby boy right after our small but elaborate wedding. Tony was my son from my disastrous first marriage. Deserted by my ex, my son and I were on our own until I met Sammy, my new husband. He had no children and took to my son immediately. He was already in the process of adopting Tony when the fire happened.

Banging on my neighbor’s door and leaning on the bell, her adult daughter answered. By this time, the flames were licking the sky. She saw that behind us before we could say a word. Ushering us in from the 9* weather, she called 911. Then she got the boys blankets to warm them. It was 2:30 am, Friday December 10.

Suddenly my husband remembered both cars had been filled with gas earlier that night. Rushing from our neighbor’s house, he bolted across the street and into the burning house. Grabbing my purse and car keys from the kitchen table, he ran outside and moved both cars from the driveway to the road. He was afraid the fire would spread into the garage. The cars had been parked in the driveway, mine up against the garage door so both would fit.

At this time, a police car pulled into the driveway. Running up to the garage door windows, he peered inside. My husband called to him just as the gas company and fire trucks arrived. Advised to return to my neighbor’s house, he did as was told. The officer followed. I was hysterical. Trying to calm me down, the officer asked both of us what happened.

" I woke up needing to use the bathroom. I heard a hissing sound coming from the kitchen area and went to investigate. I saw a bright light coming through the slats of the door leading to the Florida room. When I opened the door, flames made a whoosh sound and traveled down the outside wall. As I turned around I saw the pantry area, where the water heater is, all in flames.

That's when I ran back to the bedrooms to get my family out." My husband was very detailed as he explained this.

Then the officer asked me. In between tears and trying to calm the baby, I told him what I knew; how my husband woke me, we grabbed the kids and ran to our neighbors. I was useless. Not realizing it, my neighbor’s daughter had run to an all-night pharmacy and got diapers, formula and a bottle for the baby. As she returned, her mother took and fed my son. I was still a mess, crying. At least Shane calmed down. Tony sat there wide eyed and frightened.

The officer advised we should take the kids to the hospital and have them looked at. He was concerned they may have inhaled the toxic smoke. Doing as we were told, we went to the ER.

After examining the boys and getting the all clear, we returned to what was left of our home.

The sun was rising over the horizon as dawn came. At this time, the Fire Marshall was there in his vehicle. Asking us to leave the children with my neighbor, we climbed into his van to answer more questions. Little did we know it would be the beginning of the end.

Chapter 2


Sammy was born in Savannah, Georgia, at Hunter Air Force base. His mother, Mary, was young; she had been Miss Georgia a few years back. His father, Leon, being infatuated with her, and married her with the stipulation they would not have children. Mary lived and grew up on a farm where it wasn't unusual for kids to