My Brother

This is my brother Brian.  If you’ve been to one of my Grand Rapids signings, you might recognize him.

The screenshot comes from a news story about a house in Grand Rapids that exploded at two in the morning on the 9th.  Brian and his wife Wendy live across the street.

Here’s the part of the story that gets me.  “Hines ran to the scene of the fire within a minute of hearing the explosion…”

He tried to kick in the front door.[1. Don’t try this, by the way.  Despite what you see on TV, it ain’t easy, and you’ll probably hurt yourself.]  When that failed, he and Wendy went around to find another way in.  They got another door cracked open, enough to see that the floor inside was gone and the flames were spreading far too fast, and they had to get out of there.

Two in the morning.  Within a minute, maybe two, he was across the street, yelling to one person to call 911 and trying to see if the man who lived there was still alive.[2. He wasn’t.  It appears to have been a very successful suicide.]  Because that’s just who he is.  It’s instinctive.

I can’t say I’m completely thrilled at the idea of them running toward the burning house.  I’m glad he and Wendy assessed the situation and got away when they realized there was no way to get inside, but still … the explosion shook the house off its foundation.  Not to mention the smoke, and how quickly fire can spread.

But when something like this happens — and this isn’t the first time he’s found himself in the middle of this kind of crisis — his first instinct is to help.  I think the world would be a much better place if we had more people like them.

So, yeah.  That’s my little brother.  He’s a good guy, and I’m proud of him.

ETA: Originally I left Wendy’s name out of this post, as she was not mentioned in the news story and I wasn’t sure how much they wanted shared.  I’ve updated the post based on my brother’s comment, “Jim, we appreciate your concern for our privacy immensely, but it’s okay, we both agreed privacy was kind of irrelevant at this point. Besides, equal contribution, equal credit. She’s awesome and went right through that door with me, no questions asked.”  So there you go.  My awesome brother and his equally awesome wife Wendy.