My firehouse was a modest engine company — three engines, three garage doors and about 30 of the best men I’ve ever known. We fought all the usual fires that break out in the suburbs: brush fires, car fires, dumpsters, dryers, light fixtures — and worst of all, the occasional house, already in flames when we arrived. I remember one such house fire — the structure was fully involved with flames and smoke. I was wearing a breathing apparatus, conducting a search on my hands and knees, when I felt something warm, squishy and furry on the floor of a closet. I instinctively tucked it in my coat. When I got outside, I saw two small eyes staring up at me, and I returned the 3-week-old (and very scared) puppy to its grateful owners.
Is that standard protocol for firefighters? To just aimlessly crawl around the floor of a home burning up in flames, in the off-chance you might stumble upon something? He "instinctively" grabbed the "warm, squishy and furry" object despite not knowing what it was?
Even more curious is his earlier version of this same story. Talking to Esquire in 2005, Williams boasted, "All I ever did as a volunteer fireman was once save two puppies." Note that he didn't say "save two puppies," which could have meant saving an individual puppy on two occasions. He clearly says this happened "once."
Which has us wondering if it ever happened at all.