It's been a bad week around Hodapphaüs. There was a fire at the apartment complex we own last Wednesday, and one of our residents perished in the flames. He had put something on the stove, and then fallen asleep. Firefighters concluded that the smoke detector woke him up, and that he tried to put it out, but was quickly overcome by the heat and smoke. Most tragic of all, he tried to crawl out and got into a closet by mistake. My biggest fear was that his wife and two small children were in the apartment, too, but thankfully they were not.
When we bought the complex more than five years ago, things like the death of residents never entered our mind. Two years ago, one of our seniors was diagnosed with cancer. He came home, arranged his personal papers, climbed in bed and shot himself in the head. And now this fire is our second death.
My deepest thanks go to the Firemen of Engine 8 and Medic 2 for their skill and bravery on what was literally the hottest day of an already scorching summer.
And our deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers go to the family of Keith Richardson, especially his wife Oreather, one of the sweetest, kindest ladies I have ever met.
Many thanks to Brother Stan May for his work in setting up the "Keith E. Richardson Jr. Children Fund" at First Merchants Bank.