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Posts published in “Day: October 9, 2008

4-Alarm fire guts Newport home

Fire fighters stop blaze from spreading

NEWPORT – After an October 3rd residence fire, the homeowner and neighbors stated that the blaze started near the garage electrical panel. The house was in the 12000 block of Mediterranean Way, near Flying Dutchman, and flames spread rapidly to engulf the interior of the home and threaten four nearby houses.

A four-alarm call for fire crews went out last Friday at 7:32 p.m. A fire crew reported the house and structure behind it was fully engaged by 7:35. Crosby’s Fire Engine 82, followed shortly by a crew from Sheldon assessed the flames as endangering structures on both sides and three behind the house. A Precinct 3 Constable Deputy, Lt. Terry Ganey, asked two young people leaving the house if there was anyone else inside.

All Crosby’s emergency units and some from Highlands were on hand for the battle by 7:49 p.m. Crosby firemen attached hydrants to spray from their Bronto-tower truck, to reach the inside, but by 7:56 even as firemen were entering the house it was obvious that only containment to the burning building was possible.

As this was the last of the Newport neighborhoods to have electricity restored after Hurricane Ike (on September 24,) six neighbors say strong winds regularly cause temporary power outages or surges. Four stated flatly they have lost appliances or electronic devices to these power anomalies. One said that the neighborhood temporarily lost power at about 2:00 p.m. September 12, a half day before the storm struck.

The home belonged to Benny and Brenda Delbosque. Their son, Danny, and his girlfriend were the only people in the house at the time the fire began. “We saw a haze inside the house upstairs. When we looked outside we saw the garage was on fire. None of the smoke alarms went off,” said Danny Delbosque, after answering ‘no’ to any lights similar to a power surge.

Alan Troppy witnessed events from his neighboring house, “From our window we saw a fire starting, we believe it ran from a breaker in the back of the garage. There must have been gas cans in the garage that exploded and caught the rest of the house on fire. We called 911 as quick as we could, ran outside and started wetting down everything so nothing else would catch fire. Two cops, an ambulance, then six or seven fire trucks showed up.”

Mrs. Brenda Delbosque stated, “My life is my family, and material things can be replaced. Such a beautiful family and wonderful friends, I have.”

Benny Delbosque guarded the remnants of the house and said through Brenda that four uninvited groups of people came by to wonder inside the house after the fire, scared off by having a flashlight shined on them. Such could be considered looting.

Brenda, an avid collector, lost all pictures of her son, Danny and asks that of the many activities they participated in over the years, if any of her friends and neighbors could share theirs of him with her.

CHAMBER PICNIC IN PARK: Communities rally from Ike

CROSBY – The annual picnic in the park fielded a growing spirit of community, October 2 when a lawman, two school superintendents and three preachers outlined hopes and strengths for the Crosby/Huffman Chamber of Commerce.

Bob Ward, lead cook, opened the informal ceremonies pointing out the donation of meat patties and funding for the event came from Arlan’s Market. Constable Ken Jones donated the tea and spoke first.

Calling Ike, “The toughest hurricane to hit the Houston area,” Jones reminded attendees of the important things we have to be thankful for, mainly our lives. He called attention to four deputies in attendance as they each are just “coming off of 10 to 15 hour shifts for better than 2 weeks.”

Jones annual fund-raiser has been postponed until March, not his campaign he joked. He spoke of area wide neighbors helping neighbors. Jones sees as preparation for future disasters that efforts be made to get the Mom & Pop business back up as soon as possible.

Brother Dr. Larry Koslovsky of the Brethren Church asked if anyone prayed before the hurricane. He spoke of preparation for the hurricane and made an analogy to the preparation Noah did before the hurricane. Koslovsky divided all humanity into three types: do prepare, don’t prepare and will not prepare. “There are more hurricanes to come,” warns Dr. Larry meaning the one of wind, the one of money and others. He closed with words of thanks.

Reverend Richard Amador pointed to the power of individual efforts combined with others and advised the Chamber to unite and demonstrate that “we love you, community.”

“This was a time when people were saying, ‘I want to hear a prayer.’ It was God saying look at me again.” said Amador, adding, “In the middle of a hurricane we serve an unshakable God in a shakable world.”

Reverend Keenan Smith of Crosby Church spoke of his church’s efforts related to the storm. He pointed to the courtesy shown before and just after the storm. Smith points to the faithfulness of individuals as being the reason we were able to survive this and how often the qualities of faithfulness are forsaken in the hustle of busy life. He pointed to the return of stability to our areas, not normalcy as that is a long way off for some. He encourages each of us to be a neighbor to all those around us.

Mike Joseph summed up the three preachers by saying, “Hurricane Ike took away our electricity; but it did not take away our power. It could not because the power comes not through the lines but the power rests with everyone here.”

Dr. Shirley Ellisor spoke next for the Holy Trinity Episcopal School, “This is my third time to move back to Crosby and I am so proud, driving down the street I saw people helping people.”

She announced a golf tournament to raise funds for the school for which she works. Best prize for a hole in one is a Titan truck, Titan is their mascot.

The event welcomed E.L.Q. Tax & Business Center’s Nai Whitaker to speak of the business service and tax center. Nai introduced Michael Porter, CFP, CPA, who will run the Crosby office.

Next luncheon is to be held at the First Baptist Church on October 16 at 11:30 a.m. The Honorable Ted Poe, R., 2nd U.S. Congressional District, will be speaker.

Fall brings colors, travel and football

This writer really likes this season, particularly with the changing of the season and the travel in the mountains as the leaves change. This is one of the most beautiful things that Mother Nature gives us each year. Over the years the Appalachians have been points of destination many times during October or perhaps early November.

Another place we have gone rather regularly in the past is to the Smoky Mts. of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. Particularly we enjoy the Cherokee, N. C. and Gatlinburg, Tenn. towns.

We have stopped there a few times traveling between home and Texas as one of the best routes takes us right through Knoxville, Tenn. which is just a few miles from Gatlinburg. We also get there by going out of our way a little traveling between home and Florida, a trip we have also made many times.

Living on a river that has its beginning in the hills of Appalachia also makes this time of year pleasant. To me rivers are always beautiful unless it is in a highly industrialized area. The waters flow gracefully along, usually at a rather slow pace as the water level is low. In a week or so the river will be full of leaves of all color that have fallen from trees along the banks. These leaves add to the beauty of the river going past our property but will soon soak up lots of water and sink.

Of course fall is also time for football and I am a great football fan. My two favorite teams, Texas A. & M. and West Virginia University have both taken it on the chin already a few times this year and unfortunately I don’t see much improvement over the rest of the season.

I’m afraid A&M is in for a long season as they have already lost at least two, possibly three and have a tough Big Twelve schedule still ahead.

West Virginia may have better sledding but not by much. The last half of that schedule could bring two or three defeats to add to the two already registered. Nonetheless I’ll still be rooting for both teams no matter what. If 2008 proves to be losing or relatively bad seasons, on to 2009. I’ll still enjoy the colors and the daily temperatures of the fall season!

Such are the people, places and things that have touched my life in my home!