that sent us on the fire call that took us close to Hell.
but now its days were numbered, its glories long gone by.
We jumped aboard our platform, began to raise it high,
till we were up above the roof, framed in the evening sky.
He leaned across the guard rail, began to ventilate,
coaxing with axe and ceiling hook, dislodging stubborn slate.
Till arrogant, impatient, full of his reckless youth,
he left the platform’s safety and stepped upon the roof.
The joists were old and weakened, this house had had its day.
Without the slightest warning, the entire roof gave way.
A thousand slates went crashing, down to the basement floor;
Down through a well of fearsome flames, some sixty feet or more.
His eyes were wide in deep surprise, his mouth a rounded “O”
His arms were opened to embrace the fires down below.
He fell through the inferno, his helmet left his head,
and when we found him later, the fireman was dead.
He’d trained to do his duty, and he had passed his test
He entered into manhood, the bravest and the best.
We took him to the Chapel, whispered once more his name.
And then with love and dignity, returned him to the flame.
Thus we restored his honour, and now we know full well
When we ride out to fires, he'll be answering the bell.