Real Life Heroes: Forged In Fire
By Andrea Bennet
On a December morning in 1951, Kip Malone, then age 12, left his home in downtown St. John’s to buy some butter for his mother. When he turned the corner onto Central Street, he saw smoke coming from one of its three-storey houses. A woman leaning out its window yelled, “Save the children! Save the children!”
Malone raced toward the burning house, through the front door and up a flight of stairs, where he found a five-year-old girl. “I grabbed the child,” he says, “but she screamed, ‘No, no, my sister! You’ve got to get my sister!’”
Malone suddenly felt compelled to cross the hall and check the other bedroom on that floor. “God told me,” he says. He reached under the bed and found the girl’s frightened, silent three-year-old sister.
As the flames intensified, Malone carried the siblings safely out to the street and their waiting family. Then he hustled off—he was late picking up the butter for his mom.
Over the years, Malone thought about the fire and the children he had rescued and wondered what had happened to the girls from Central Street.
Malone and his wife, Liz, spent four decades in Ontario, where he worked in the airline industry—until last October, when they returned to Newfoundland. The couple settled in Conception Bay South, 30 kilometres from St. John’s, in a house overlooking the water.
Shortly after they moved in, two of their new neighbours stopped by with a housewarming gift—frozen cod and salt fish. Malone and Liz invited Margaret Fowler and her husband, Kelvin, in for a chat, which is how they discovered a connection: Malone and Fowler, who are both in their 70s, had grown up right around the corner from each other.
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