When the firefighters of Engine 3 roared into Lawrence on the afternoon of Sept. 13, they had no idea they were on their way to battle what one emergency responder would later describe as "Armageddon." They had been dispatched at around 4:30 p.m. to fight a 2-alarm fire and, as Engine 3 Lt. Michael Howell points out, being called for mutual aid in Lawrence is not unusual. Shortly after entering the city, the severity of the call, and its rarity, were evident. On their way to the blaze, a distraught man jumped into the roadway, waving his arms in front of the brightly-flashing fire truck. "The guy ran out into the street and said, 'My house is on fire,'" Howell said. With a fire right in front of them, the firefighters of Engine 3 changed plans and got to work subduing the flames. When they packed up and moved on roughly 20 minutes later, they witnessed a second fire; this one more involved as flames burst from the home's basement windows.