Your article concerning the ordeal of the survivors of the fire brought back vivid memories of my own experience in the Las Vegas hotel fire. I was trapped under identical circumstances and have complete empathy for their courage and survival.
From the outside people watch in mute horror, from the inside victims run an emotional gamut and each decision made, literally, dictates life or death.
The reason for my letter is to give strong praise for the stoic heroism of the men and women who fight the high-rise fires. Their primary goal is to save the lives of those trapped. To merely say that it is their job is foolishness--they risk their lives every time they answer an alarm. However, the ability to fight a high-rise fire becomes much more hazardous and yet they continue the fight at great personal risk.
I was able to break my window after several attempts, but eight unknown friends died that evening. There is no question that the Las Vegas firefighters saved my life as well as many others that night.
The L.A. firefighters acted daringly and brilliantly to save people in the bank.
Seldom do the firefighters across America receive the praise they richly deserve, but once again they have shown their perseverance and dedication to duty.