Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY


February 10, 2009

Fish escapes from fire to 50 gallon tank

So what do you grab when your house is on fire? Pictures come to mind – what else can capture the memories of a lifetime? After that, everything and nothing is important. What I mean is that when the people you love are safe, and you’ve had the luxury of grabbing your memories, everything else that you can salvage is just gravy. When the firemen asked “What next?” I had no idea what to say.

I thought of the fish tank. It was there by the living room door, but difficult to move. The strength of the fire was still in question, and the stability of the ceiling was, too. Naturally I didn’t want any of the pets to come to harm, so it seemed like a natural thing to try to save.Some of those fish were from Grandma’s tank – rescued right after the tornado. Not only did they survive that disaster, they thrived; becoming a school of fish and something far more symbolic – like a flower breaking through cement. I felt silly and even selfish asking, but the next time a fireman questioned me, I asked for the fish tank.

Within minutes, I saw two firemen weighted down with their equipment dragging a sloshing tank onto the front porch. My cousin Rexanna and I grabbed it and tried to carry it to the garage but had to give up and ask for help. You’d be surprised at how heavy 20 gallons of water is. The tank was eventually loaded into our van, moved to our house, and found a new spot on top of a downstairs dresser.

Days passed, and my father began asking about the fish. I explained that we had the tank with all them still swimming and that we could return it any time. However, he insisted that we go ahead and move the fish into our larger tank. To stop him from continually harassing us on the subject, I gave in and prepared for the Great Fish Transfer of 2009.

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