We were dispatched to a car fire in a restaurant parking lot. Another firefighter and I approached the vehicle as smoke billowed out of the front passenger window, which was broken. After extinguishing the fire, evidence suggested the fire was suspicious. Madison Police and a Madison Fire Investigator were called to the scene. The police determined that the car belonged to a woman who was working at the restaurant. Once the woman was notified of what happened, she called her husband and he arrived at the scene with their five-year-old son.
The woman and her son stood together as the father explained to the police that he didn’t know why anyone would target their vehicle. The police then told the man it was likely a case of mistaken identity since a similar vehicle was vandalized days earlier. Needless to say, the family was very upset about losing this vehicle—their only means of getting to work—to a case of mistaken identity.
As everyone stood around and gave their statement to the investigators, I noticed the little boy holding onto his mother’s legs. He looked a bit shy and worried due to everything going on around him. So I went to the truck, got the REACH BAG out, and grabbed a book and backpack and gave them to the little boy. I also gave him a plastic firefighter hat. He enjoyed getting these items, and even gave me a high-five and said, “thank you.” It felt good to give this little boy a few simple items to make him feel better amidst a sad situation that his hardworking family now had to deal with.
Firefighter Madison Fire Department