Anecdote of the Day
Ramai Swami : I was on sankirtan in plain clothes. When I came back, a big crowd had assembled near our downtown center. Smoke and flames were coming out of a nearby building, and some young girls, nineteen or twenty years old, on the third floor were screaming out, "Help, help. It's coming up the stairs, it's coming closer." One of them was on the window ledge. The fire had come up the stairwell and blocked their exit, and the fire brigade hadn't arrived yet. So Yaso and I ran back to the shop where all the preparations were going on for Ratha-yatra. The matajis were putting the finishing touches on the canopy for the cart. Yaso said, "Quick, give us that canopy." We got this huge canopy, and we spread it out on the street and six devotees and a whole bunch of karmis stretched it and held it all the way around for the girls to jump onto. We were calling, "Jump! Jump!" The girls didn't want to jump. They were high up, and they didn't know what to make of this thing. But one or two girls did jump, to my amazement, because I actually thought no one would, and Lord Jagannath's canopy saved them. The canopy held. All the devotees chanted "Hari Bol!" and all the karmis said, "Yeah!" Then the press arrived along with the fire brigade. Later that night it was reported to Prabhupada, and the next day that story made the front page in practically all the papers here in Melbourne as well as in other cities. It was also on the front page of a national paper. It said, "Hare Krishnas save women from blazing inferno." Prabhupada was very happy, and he told the devotees to get all the clips and save them. He took copies of those clips with him. He said, "This is very good for our reputation."
Reference: Memories-Anecdotes of a Modern-Day Saint by Siddhanta Dasa