On February 16, 2011, our lives changed forever. It was a day that I never thought would happen to me. While working with a patient, I heard my phone buzz incessantly on my desk. As I
started to be alarmed, my desk phone rang, then there was a knock on my office door. I knew something was wrong. I stood up, walked to my desk where my phone was still ringing, flashing my
husband's picture. When I picked it up, I heard, "Baby, the house is on fire." and right then, in that split second, our perfect little world crumbled. My cats! My baby girls! They are all
I cared about. My husband & I were safe but our babies were not & that's simply all that mattered. I frantically returned my terrified little pre-school patient to his caregiver
& my dear friend met me in the hall, threw me in the car, & brought me on the longest 5 mile journey of my life. I was talking to my sweet neighbor & friend on the way,
screaming, "My cats are in there!" repeatedly. She did her best to console me & help me to maintain a semblance of control. About halfway down Brewster Rd, I could see the smoke. "Dear
God, that's my house and my babies are in there" is all I could think. When we tried to turn into the subdivision, the whole street was blocked by emergency vehicles. "Maybe they got them"
was racing through my head. When I got out of the car, I'm pretty sure I was about to hyperventilate. I certainly now know what "hysterical" means... I collapsed on the ground. I couldn't
move. I was paralyzed with fear and heartache for my little cat children. You see, we don't have children. THEY are our children. As I somewhat gained my composure & approached my
burning home, I was approached by your wonderful chief, whose name I would later learn to be Michael Stein. "Mrs. Duke?" he asked. Then, he guided me to my neighbors' bench and sat with me.
He introduced himself & consoled me. He waited as I tried to catch my breath. He was patient and compassionate. I was then approached by a neighbor as I cried for my kitties who told me
that they didn't make it. I had only thought that my heart broke earlier. I can never express how truly devastated I was at that very moment. All the while, this sweet man sat with me &
waited until I had enough wits about me to speak to him. Eventually, I was able to answer his questions & he waited as my precious, devastated husband arrived. Several of the
firefighters from your district (I wish I could remember their names) approached us with genuine condolences, not only for our material loss but for our babies. We were told that you had
tried to save them, that they weren't burned & that they had been removed & safely placed in a box. Let me express how grateful we are for not only the professionalism displayed but
also the compassion, the humanity of all of the firefighters and Sheriff's deputies there. You were unimaginably kind and went well beyond your call of duty. We are grateful. If this
tragedy had to happen to us, I couldn't think of a better group of men to be there to "rescue" us. I don't remember many details about that horrible afternoon, but I remember telling myself
to look up to read the firetruck so as to ensure I knew who to properly thank. Not only were you kind to us, you contained the fire to its original location and minimized the water damage.
You worked tirelessly & even came back later that night to ensure there were no hot spots.
You, the men that saved what could be saved of our home & tried to save our precious cat children that day, will forever hold a special place in our hearts. So, with the utmost
respect and sincerety, thank you, Fire District No. 2, for all that you did to help us. You made St. Tammany & firefighters everywhere proud. You are good men. It's a little easier to
rest knowing that you're here protecting our community.
With Warm Regards,
Dear Fire Fighters,
I would like to thank you all for saving my house in 2010 and 2011. I hope everybody gets a raise for all the work y'all have to do because that's hard to wake up at 12:00 and 1:00 for a
house fire. The thing I wanted say is thank you for everything you have done to protect our country, our houses, and our environment from fires.
Dear Fire Chief Stein,
On behalf of myself, my children, and my family, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for your department's help and participation during the funeral services of my husband,
Lt. Douglas Wade Sharp. Your contribution in honoring Wade has touched the hearts of this family and allowed him to be laid to rest just like the hero he always was in life. We will always
be eternally grateful for your fire department's kindness and support during this difficult time. God bless.
With sincere appreciation,
Stacy Sharp and Family
Thank you saving many, many people of our country. Everyday you get up to save people from many different things. You may have to save a trapped child in a burning house, or put out a
car fire. You may just be saving a cat high up in a tree. Either way you wake up every morning to save people that live in the country you love.
Although you do have to put out blazing fires that are at least 500° F, you did have to train to do that. You had to learn a million gadgets on the side of massive truck. You had to
learn how to control a very powerful hose. Though you had to do all this , it obviously paid of.
I would like to thank everyone who participated in making Wade Sharp's funeral the display of respect and gratitude he deserved. This letter is to show our appreciation in the service
provided over the last few days. Our Police and Fire Department certainly already feels the loss, but will move on, as Wade would want us to do. The City of Covington was lucky to have such
a dedicated hero protecting the citizens that passed through and lived here in this fine city. People are alive today for the actions that Wade performed on a day-to-day basis. Please keep
this family in your prayers. As the Police Chief, Palmisano said, Wade was a cornerstone in the department.
The different agencies that assisted were; Hornets organization (Chris Game Operations) for doing a moment of silence during a playoff game in the New Orleans Arena, Cleco (moving
electrical lines for us to set up the ladder trucks),St. Tammany Parish Hospital(support and permission to hang a banner), Construction workers @ St. Tammany Parish Hospital for hanging the
banner, Fire District 2 (Madisonville), Fire District 4 (Mandeville, for covering our station so on-duty personnel could go to the funeral services), Fire District 5 (Folsom), Fire District
6 (Lee Road), Fire District 8 (Abita), Fire District 12. The City of Covington Public works Department and Several Tow companies for blocking intersections.
A special thanks to the City of Covington Firefighters, Police Officers, and families for the restless hard work put forward to making the wake, funeral, and precession as respectful,
professional and memorable as possible.
He will be missed
Assistant Chief Steven Michell
Dear Fire Fighter,
I would just like thank you for saving our community. You do so much for our country; you save a numeral amount of strangers' lives. I just think that it is very brave and heroic of you
to put our lives in front of your own.
I know that some people look at you as just a guy that stops fires, but I look at you as hero. You have saved many lives; whether its 9/11 or just a regular day. No matter what, you have
made an impact on our country.
Madisonville Branch Library
Dear Chief Stein,
I want to thank you for participating in Mrs. Butler's "Community Helpers" Storytime at the Madisonville Branch Library and also for sending a firetruck to the Touch a Truck program. Our
theme for Summer Reading Program was "Every Hero Has a Story." We are so lucky to have your support in the community. Firefighters are real HEROES! I am including a CD of a few photographs
that we took. The quality of the photos is not great; our staff photographer was not available this summer. But you can see what a SUPER time the kids are having! Thank you for contributing
to the success of our program. If there is anything I can assist you with, please do not hesitate to call me.
Children Services Coordinator