‘He was like an angel’

On July 19, residents on Bellwood Court were awakened by the sirens and flashing lights of four Oxford Fire Department trucks and one command vehicle. According to Fire Chief Pete Scholz, about nine Oxford firefighters responded to the Tuesday morning fire. Photo courtesy of Oxford Fire Department

Amazon driver alerts local family of home fire

By Don Rush

The Buss family doesn’t believe in coincidences – there had to be more to it.

I don’t believe it just happened,” Oxford Township resident Larry Buss said. “For a package to be delayed for a day and then to have an Amazon driver make a delivery at 4 in the morning on our street (Bellwood Court) and to see there was fire in our garage. It wasn’t a coincidence. He was like an angel.”

Last Tuesday morning July 19, the Buss family, Larry, his wife Mindy, their children Lily, 10, Johnny, 6, their two dogs Bradey and Reilly and Moose, were awakened early.

It was about 4:30 or 4:45 in the morning. We were all dead asleep,” Larry said. “And I heard a banging on the door, and then the doorbell ringing. There was a pounding on the door. I didn’t know what was going on. I was running around looking for my glasses, I went into the kitchen to grab a knife – because you just never know these days – and I could smell burning plastic coming from the garage. Something told me not to open the door into the garage. When I finally opened the front door a man was there. He said, ‘Sir, your house is on fire.’

He said he had already called 911 and unbelievably quick the fire department was there.”

This is the wall where the battery charging system started the fire in the Buss family garage. Photo courtesy of The Buss Family

According to Oxford Fire Chief Pete Scholz, the Amazon driver saw the fire’s glow in the garage window. “I he knocked on the Buss’ door and the neighbors, too,” Scholz said. “When we got there we went in that window and saw it wasn’t that big of a fire. We had it extinguished in about five minutes.”

He said the fire was started by a hand tool battery charging system that shorted. “We’re very fortunate it was caught early. If it would have gone on another 10 minutes it would have gotten into the structure.”

As it is most of the damage seems to be just contents in the garage.

And, now we’re back to no coincidences.

Mindy got up at about two in the morning to get a glass of water,” Larry said. “When she was in the kitchen she noticed the door (from the kitchen to the garage) was open a little and closed it. It could have been worse. The gas cans didn’t ignite. The propane tanks didn’t explode. When I smelled the smoke and went to the garage door, I didn’t open it up. Who knows what would have happened if I had, or if Mindy had not closed it earlier in the morning. Once we had our heads on straight I got with my family and we prayed for the things that didn’t happen.”

Larry and Mindy are trying to track down the Amazon driver to thank him. Scholz is trying to track down the Amazon driver to give him some recognition.

The only thing we know is that his first name is Gary,” Larry said.

In the days just after the fire, the Buss family (including pets) were all put up in a hotel while the restoration team ascertains damage extent. “They’re also testing the toxicity of the environment after the lithium batteries blew up.”

Both Mindy and Larry were quick to thank the fire department and their neighbors, too. “It is amazing. We are so blessed to be a part of this close-knit community,” Larry said.

The Buss family on happier days, from the left Larry, Lily, Johnny and Mindy. Photo courtesy of the Buss Family





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