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The Staying Alive Fire Safety Program is a tribute to Laura Johnson, a much loved five year old who passed away in house fire in 1998. Through Laura’s passing, and in honour of her short, yet meaningful life, this world is now a safer place to live.
In the early morning of March 28, 1998 Laura’s tiny body was found lying under her bed; the only indication -- her small foot showing. We rescued her from her burning house, but Laura had succumbed to smoke inhalation. Even though Laura’s life was taken too soon; little did I know what an impact she would have on my life!
Laura is my inspiration . . . the reason why I dedicate myself to developing fire safety materials to help keep children safe. I would like to take this opportunity to share a part of Laura’s life with you.
Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Laura’s parents Petra & Dave Johnson and we had a chance to chat about Laura.
Laura was the much loved (not to mention spoiled) youngest of four children in the Johnson family at the time. As the youngest, Laura was doted on not only by her parents, but her siblings, especially her older sister Tina who was 23 at the time, along with brothers James 18 and Chris 12. Laura truly was the baby of the family.
Petra and Dave will always remember Laura as an intelligent and vibrant little girl. She was in kindergarten, a member of Scouts at the local church and on weekends loved to spend time at the family farm where she rode her pony Dixie. In the winter months, she loved to spend time on the skidoo with her father and brothers. Laura loved the outdoors and spent a lot of time in the forest with her family cutting wood for the winter. It’s in the forest, on private land, where her family made a final memorial site for her.
Although it’s been seven years since Laura’s passing, there isn’t a day that goes by where her family doesn’t grieve for her. And so, with this in mind, her family and I want to share the following photos of Laura and a poem that Petra wrote for her beloved daughter called Empty Saddle.
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