Current Ardmore resident Travis Eden had the fire of the century blazing right in front of him. Several propane tankers were on fire with the risk of many more catching and exploding.
To boot, it was right in the middle of a residential hot spot in Irving, Texas.
Protocol would be to keep the tanks cool by spraying water on them as long as possible to allow for an evacuation. But Eden had the moral obligation to keep the fire from spreading and the tanks from exploding at all costs.
Just before he climbed into his silver fire suit, Eden thought of his family, his friends, and said the shortest and only prayer he ever said while working a fire.
"God, forgive me."
Moments later, Eden was crawling on his back under a flaming propane tanker truck attempting to turn off the valve allowing propane to escape and ignite.
"I didn't think, I just did it," he said. "It's what had to be done and it's what I was told to do."
The common man would run the other direction — much like the people in Eden's book "In Angel Hands" did that day of the propane fire. But Eden and his fellow firefighters trudged forward.
But why follow so blindly into what would soon be a four-alarm fire?
"It had to be done and it's what I was told to do," he repeated. "The military taught me that discipline and it taught me not to have fear when doing my job."
Read the rest of Eden's story in Sundy's print edition of The Ardmoreite.