Foreign – An Ongoing Saga


The ground felt incredibly hard. The last thing she remembered was arguing with her mother about a possible engagement before getting the notification about the five alarm fire. The old, abandoned warehouse had caught fire. The ancient thing was built in the late 1880’s to early 1890’s, and was in operation until it was shut down in the 1950’s. Since then, it lay at the edge of town slowly letting the vegetation around it reclaim what was once theirs. Many have tried to convince the mayor to have it demolished, but it was always ignored until people eventually forgot about it. The warehouse used to store lyocell and rayon fabrics during its years of operation. They never cleaned out the warehouse, so it became a popular place for squatters. It was always an adrenaline rush, looking out the window of the rig on the way to a call. But with the rush of adrenaline always came the sense of danger, and being a firefighter isn’t an easy job. She only hoped for this call to be short so she could go back to the station to sleep, but at the same time she wanted the call to prolong the conversation she just had with her mother. Although, she couldn’t help but wonder why her station was being called out. The warehouse was on the other side of town, and her station was the farthest from it. She could only assume that they were called for either search and rescue for squatters, or to keep the fire from spreading to the nearby forest. They pulled up to the scene behind several other firetrucks. Belladonna could already see the hue of orange surrounding the building. As soon as the truck was parked, her team jumped out and started moving towards the equipment while the captain went to talk to the commander. Belladonna hopped out of the truck putting on the rest of her gear. Her commander came back to explain the situation.


“They have the fire under control, but they still want help with search and rescue. They already have hoses on all sides of the building as well as the surrounding forest. Sam and Elliot, you’re in the ambulance. So far no one has been confirmed as being inside other than search and rescue. Just be prepared. Ryder and Belladonna, you’re search and rescue. They have only managed to get halfway through the first floor before an explosion hit. They have doused and tried to contain the flammable material or so they say. Be careful you two.”


He looked pointedly at Ryder and Belladonna.


“Alright. Let’s go!” He shouted before smacking the truck twice, something silly they always did before going into a call. Some would say for good luck, but Belladonna didn’t believe in superstition. She went along with it though, simply because it made her feel like a part of something. 


Opening the hatch on the side of the truck, Belladonna grabbed two axes and two respirators. Normally Elliot and her were search and rescue, but since Elliot decided to enroll in med school last October, the commander had been giving him more time in the ambulance. It only made sense to pair Elliot with Sam since he is the certified paramedic. Still, she missed her partner. Ryder wasn’t bad per se, but out of all the guys at her station, she got along with him the least. Most times after a shift, Elliot, Sam, Theodore, and her would grab a drink before heading back to their house. It was not uncommon for firefighters to share a house. Due to their rigorous work schedule, it was easier for them to share a house. Normally it was two firefighters sharing a house, but Elliot, Sam, and Theodore treated Belladonna as one of their own, rather than something else simply because of her gender. While it is the 21st century, many women still face discrimination, mainly from captains who should’ve retired 20 years ago. It wasn’t a secret that female recruitments have a harder time transitioning to the job. While messing with the new recruitments for fun was something that the firefighters enjoyed, a surprising amount of men felt threatened by the fact that the women were just as good, if not better than them at their jobs. 


 Belladonna grabbed one of the axes off of the truck, and handed it to Ryder before grabbing her own. As they walked up to the building, they saw several firefighters pulling the injured firefighters that must have been inside when the explosion hit. As she watched the paramedics tend to the injured, a pit began to spread in her stomach.