“Please. We will be in the pool,” Jan replied. “This is where we are.”

“In my naivete, all night long,” she would tell me later, “I thought someone would come to get us.”

Jan, 65, and her husband, John, 70, debated when to get in. She wanted to right away, but John said, “Hold off. The water’s cold. Let’s see what happens.”

As they stood at the edge of the pool, the neighbors’ house caught fire. A big tree next to the pool went up in flames. The railroad ties framing the concrete steps leading to the pool ignited.

“The heat was ‘whoa,’” John said. He stripped off his pants and jacket, and wearing only a T-shirt, turned to Jan and said, “Jump in now.”