Shadow of statue outside fire station raises spiritual questions

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Firefighters at Houston Fire Station 51 say a statue outside their firehouse conjures up a holy image every night.

Some firefighters at Houston Fire Station 51 say a statue outside their firehouse transforms when the sun goes down to take on a whole new meaning.

The statue was placed after the Southwest Inn Fire that killed four firefighters in May 2013, including two from Station 51.

The understated statue has the firefighter's prayer on it. It's flanked by two pillars in memory of their fallen colleagues, Captain EMT Matthew Renaud and Engineer Operator EMT Robert Bebee. Two spotlights shine on the statue every night, casting shadows, and what they symbolize is up for discussion.

"I see two firefighters standing there," explained Mark Herring, an Engineer Operator EMT. "The night we were out and they turned the lights on, that's what I saw. I see my brothers standing there."

"I like to think it's angle wings," said Firefighter Hiram Ceballos, who counted Renaud and Bebee as good friends. "They're our angels -- both Matt and Robert -- so they just kind of watch over us."

Others see religious imagery, including a METRO bus driver who alerted us to the shadows. Engineer Operator EMT Jay Shepard agrees.

"I see the Virgin Mary, too. If you look at this picture and that, they look the same," Shepard said referring to a Google image of the Virgin Mary.

The firefighters say the lighting wasn't designed that way so it was just a coincidence.

Or was it?

"Sometimes things appear to you just when you need them to," added Ceballos.

Probationary Firefighter Anne Sullivan and Firefighter EMT Robert Garner also died in the fire. Others were seriously injured.

Click below for information about the fallen firefighters' foundations and how you can donate.

Related Topics:
religionvirgin maryhouston fire departmentbuzzworthyHouston
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