Amid the Storms and Floods, Vyve Field Technicians Help Save House, Rescue Pets in De Kalb
Like many others in storm-damaged towns in Texas and Oklahoma, Vyve team pitches in to help a neighbor in need.
It’s been a tough few weeks for residents and businesses in Oklahoma and Texas, as torrential, nonstop rains and vicious storms have caused extensive flooding, massive property damage and, sadly, numerous lives lost.
Tragic situations, however, often bring out the best in a community — and De Kalb has been no different in this regard. First responders and everyday people from all walks of life have pitched in to help fight the storms and floods. One such story came to the attention of Vyve Broadband, which provides Internet, cable television and voice services for commercial and residential customers in De Kalb.
Last Tuesday (May 26), Vyve field technicians Justin Bowen, DJ Washburn, Warren Rowe, Jim Harris and Mark Darnel were in De Kalb working to replace a fiber line on new utility poles, which the power company had just installed after the old poles were knocked down due to storm damage. As the Vyve team started their work, they heard smoke alarms and dogs barking from a nearby house.
Upon closer investigation, the Vyve team saw smoke coming from the house. Bowen, Harris and Darnel contacted 911, while Washburn and Rowe went to the front door — yelling and pounding on it to determine if anyone was inside. Washburn checked the door and found it was unlocked. Given the situation, he opened it and several dogs immediately ran out to escape the smoke.
Fearing someone might still be in the home, Washburn entered and started searching. While no one was inside, Washburn found that an electric stove, which was on, was causing the smoke. The stove had been in use by a tenant the prior day, when a storm knocked out the electricity in the De Kalb area. The tenants had forgotten to turn off the stove, which came back on (with no one at home) once the power company restored the electrical service. Washburn quickly unplugged the stove, and soon the local fire department arrived. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and the house and pets were safe.
The home is owned by Shenandoah Spivey, who arrived shortly after the fire department. Spivey personally thanked the Vyve crew for saving his house and his tenant’s pets.
“I really cannot say thank you enough to the gentlemen from Vyve for their quick thinking,” Spivey said. “They saved the tenant’s pets and saved my property. There’s no telling what would have happened, but without their intervention, the house could easily have burned to the ground.”
Vyve acknowledged the importance of their crew’s actions, but emphasized that they were just doing their part to be contributing members of the community.
“Vyve is really proud of DJ, Justin, Warren and the rest of the team that was on the ground last week in De Kalb, and we’re all incredibly happy to know that Mr. Spivey’s home and his tenant’s pets did not suffer any injuries or significant damage,” said Joe Shanks, Vyve Broadband system manager, who has responsibility for operations in De Kalb, New Boston and western Arkansas. “Many residents of towns across Texas and Oklahoma have shown what it is to be a good neighbor these past few weeks as they’ve lent helping hands to those in need. Vyve is proud to do its own part to be an equally good neighbor for folks like Mr. Spivey.”
“While Vyve’s main contribution to the communities we operate in is to provide the best telecommunications services possible — which, in the face of these floods, has meant a lot of around-the-clock work to keep our customers connected — situations like the one in De Kalb illustrate that we’re always ready to go above and beyond to help,” Shanks added.