It was with some consternation that we heard the dreadful news that there was a fire at the Cool & Smooth store, near the St John’s Public Market on lower All Saints Road over the weekend. And we saw the footage. Seems, the fire was located in the warehouse at the back of the store, and there was a great deal of smoke billowing from the within. We held our breaths. After all, Cool & Smooth is arguably one of the most popular and thriving businesses in St John’s City, and the owners are among the most generous. Whenever there is anything happening in Antigua, the organisers of those events are quick to go to the Cool & Smooth folks for sponsorships, and the Cool & Smooth folks are equally quick to lend their financial support.
Moreover, in the realm of sports, they are among the biggest long-term financial backers of many of our sportsmen and women, and many of the activities in the world of sports. Indeed, we shudder to think of how far behind our sporting and other cultural efforts would be here in Antigua and Barbuda, were it not for Cool & Smooth. Clearly, these are good corporate citizens. Their beneficence is laudable, and on behalf of a grateful nation, we say thanks.
Of course, as the fire raged inside the warehouse, we wondered how it began, and whether the fire department would arrive in time to save the rest of the store. We wondered whether there was anyone trapped inside, and whether their insurance was up-to-date, and so on and so forth. And then we saw her. An angel standing in water – the murky waters of Dam Gutter, scooping it up and rushing it into the smoky building in a Herculean effort to douse the flames. What a young lady! She could have stood idly by, as did some of the men, gawking and pointing. She could have turned on her cell phone’s video recorder, snapping footage of her own. She could have walked away under the conviction that the matter of the Cool & Smooth fire was none of her business. Mercifully, she did not do any of the above. Au contraire, she sprang into action, like the good citizen that she is, and with the help of the Cool & Smooth staff (and they too must be commended), did her best to keep the conflagration under control until the Fire Department folks arrived. And then even after they arrived, there she was helping to unravel the hose, feeding it into the smoky interior of the Cool & Smooth warehouse.
Her name is Dawn Sanasie, and we understand that she is a Red Cross volunteer, who is employed at the Community First Credit Union. We are not sure as to the nature of her employment there. She also has a stall at the Public Market on weekends. Kudos to her. The owners of Cool & Smooth should give her a healthy ‘thank-you’ gift. The Antigua and Barbuda Fire Department should hire her immediately, if she is so inclined. And the government and people of this fair State should recognise her fine effort with a national award. She deserves it all.
Here’s what Frankie Southwell, a social and political commentator of renown here in Antigua and Barbuda, had to say about this young lady’s magnificent effort, in a social media posting: “This lady practically saved the Cool & Smooth warehouse from complete destruction in today’s fire. Without a second thought, she bailed water from the nearest source, directed the ‘splash down’ effort, controlled the onlookers, and even helped the firemen to pull the hose to the door. She exhibited fearless leadership skills that ought to be recognised. She is definitely the hero of the day!!!” Indeed.
Donna Chaia, a talk show host, and outstanding social and political commentator, agreed with Southwell, saying: “Fearless and selfless. Responsive. Resourceful. Responsible. She should be recognised and rewarded.” We concur.
Meanwhile, the folks at the Fire Department have also expressed their appreciation for the great work done by ordinary Antiguans, the Cool & Smooth staff, and especially Dawn, who kept things under control until they arrived. [See yesterday’s DAILY OBSERVER]. And here’s what the appreciative Cool & Smooth owners had to say in that regard: “We would like to extend our sincere gratitude for the exceptional support and assistance we have received from the general public and the fire service. We are very much grateful to be able to save our store from burning down completely. Nobody was hurt. God is good!”
We here at NEWSCO are enormously proud of the wondrous labour of love displayed by this courageous young lady, and again we join with all Antiguans and Barbudans in saluting her. We are also grateful to the Almighty that no lives were lost in this near-tragedy.
Here’s to Dawn Sanasie! Talk about ‘ordinary people, doing extraordinary things, in an extraordinary way.’
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