Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A story and a two question quiz

Sadly, this week in our small city, a 7 year old boy lost his life in a house fire.

It was not long after midnight when a passerby noticed the fire and called 9-1-1.

An officer was very close by, and was at the scene in less than 90 seconds.

By the time he arrived, the 31 year old mother and her 4 other children were outside. She told the officer that her 7 year old was upstairs.

The officer tried to go up the stairs, but was pushed back by flames.

The fire department was on the way, but a neighbor brought over a ladder and the officer climbed to the second story bedroom, broke the window, climbed in and grabbed the boy from his bed.

He handed the boy out the window to the firefighters/ paramedics that were on the scene by this point, and the squad took the boy, and the cut, and burned officer to the hospital.

It was determined that the boys 4 year old brother had accidentally started the fire, lighting a cigarette, from a lit candle. He was afraid he would get caught, so he tossed the cigarette into the closet to hide it.

These are the facts. No embellishment, no exaggeration.

Last night, the police department got word that the family is blaming THEM because they didn't save the boy.

The word lawsuit is being tossed around.

Am I crazy to think that the fact that a 4 year old was up at midnight, playing with fire, no parent was supervising, that maybe the fault has nothing to do with the officer that is burned and sporting stitches all over his arms from trying to rescue the boy?

Call me crazy then, because I am disgusted that blame for this tragedy is being shifted to the person that had nothing to do with this child's primary care.

I know this officer. He is a wonderful human being. He is married with young children of his own, and this tragedy has torn him up, not only with his numerous physical cuts, but his heart is broken that he couldn't save the little boy.

Here is the quiz. Am I missing something? Is it somehow not a parents job to know what their 4 year old is doing at midnight?


buffalodick said...

1. No, you're not missing anything.
2. Lawsuits have a way better chance at big bucks than winning the lotto. Kids can get into anything in nothing flat, even with parents on the watch. I don't think it would get very far in court, as the officer went beyond his duty expectations. They would have a better chance suing the fire department...neither did anything wrong.

Ina in Alaska said...

I can tell you from experience that I respectfully disagree with buffalodick.... you have a greater chance of winning big bucks at the lottery than with a jury. They are very savvy these days and weed out bullshit in a hurry and they hate to have their time wasted in court too! The ones with the big bucks are arguing the case!

That is too sad about the young child. There is no way a parent can be alert 24/7. They should be checking to make sure dangerous "playthings" are out of their reach but you never know. Sad story all around.

My Aimless Infatuation said...

I agree with buffalodick. I will add that had it been my child,I'm sure I would have died trying to save him not standing outside watching.I'm just sayin'.

Gaston Studio said...

Such a sad story. I can't imagine even thinking about a law suit when my child has just died a horrible death. I don't think you're missing anything at all!

Tina said...

I'm with your last poster. I can't imagine standing outside and saying my kid was in there. And then to BLAME the police department? I think the family is in shock right now and is using the police department as a target for their anger and grief. Hopefully when reality sets in they will see that the officer did nothing wrong.

Yo-yo Mama said...

The family has been struck by grief and they are looking for someone to blame, to direct their anger towards. I can't imagine a lawsuit would ever get in front of a jury.

If they really are looking to find fault in someone abstract, why not the cigarette company?

My heart breaks especially for the 4 yr old who is old enough to always remember that his brother died because of something he contributed to; and the the policeman who, of no fault of his own, was unable to save the boy. It's tragic.

Frau said...

I think the fire fighter did his job and the parent did not..end of story.
It was an accident a law suit seems so unnecessary.My heart goes out to all involved.

Athena said...

I've seen this coming for years. Unfortunately I have no idea how to deal with it.

The latest generation to mature is the same one whose parents couldn't say the word "NO!" to them, and therefore they feel that they are above everyone else and the rules. Nothing is their fault (parents rescued them every time something happened), so others must be at fault and will pay. We're seeing it in business lately and it sucks. I'm tired of clients who feel that they deserve for everything to go their way, whether they earned/deserve it or not.

"What do you mean I can't have that? I want it." Think Veruca Salt from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory/Willie Wonka.

(Yay I can see the 'post comment' link again!)

Unknown Mami said...

Perhaps they are not thinking clearly and desperately want to blame someone other than themselves.

Fiona of Cork said...

Late to the party and not reading others comments I would say YOU ARE SPOT ON. Such bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope that it was their grief speaking - they're angry at their loss of their child and just want to blame somebody. They won't win, but if they did, the money still won't bring their little boy back. No one is really at fault, these things are accidents and do happen.