Part 2 Summary

The Fire

Mr. Tanimoto helped an old woman and her young son get to a school that was meant to be used as a temporary hospital in the event of an attack. By the time they arrived, there were already fifty to sixty injured people waiting for help. He climbed to a higher elevation and looked down over Hiroshima and saw that much of the city appeared to be burning. He was amazed that so much damage could have been done when he had heard no explosion. Large, marble-sized raindrops began to fall as Mr. Tanimoto thought of his family down in the destruction. He began to run toward the city.

Mrs. Nakamura’s house had fallen down around her and her children as a result of the blast. She found one child half buried but safe, then heard the other two calling for help. Although the children had been sleeping ten feet apart, the blast had blown them together. Mrs. Nakamura was able to dig them out. All three children were able to escape being cut or seriously hurt.

Mrs. Nakamura took the children outside, where it was now dark from the smoke and dust. She decided to join her neighbor, Mrs. Hataya, and go to the local evacuation area, Asano Park. On her way, she saw Father Kleinsorge leaving the Jesuit mission house.

Father Kleinsorge and several other priests began helping others dig out of the wreckage of their homes. When Kleinsorge returned to his room he found some things disturbed and some things just as they had been before the blast. His suitcase, which contained money, was not damaged, so he put it in the air-raid shelter. Several other priests had tried to make it to Dr. Fujii’s hospital but were blocked by fire. They still assumed that the damage was local.

Dr. Fujii’s hospital had collapsed into the Kyo River. Dr. Fujii, with some difficulty, worked his way out from between two timbers and onto the riverbank. As he surveyed the area from the Kyo Bridge he noticed only a few fires, but there was a strong wind, and the fires began to spread.

Many of the doctors and nurses in Hiroshima had been killed or injured in the blast. Dr. Sasaki was the only member of the Red Cross Hospital who was left uninjured. As people began to pour into the hospital, Dr. Sasaki decided to focus on those who were seriously bleeding. Of the 245,000 residents of Hiroshima, 100,000 had “been killed or doomed at one blow. 100,000 more were hurt.” Because of the mass influx of wounded and dying,

Dr. Sasaki lost all sense of profession and stopped working as a skillful surgeon and a sympathetic man; he became an automaton, mechanically wiping, daubing, winding, wiping, daubing, winding.

Miss Sasaki passed in and out of consciousness for three hours, buried under the bookcase and books, with a sharp pain coming and going in her left leg. She could hear other voices nearby saying, “Please help! Get us out!”

Many of the houses around the Jesuit mission were now burning, and the wind was whipping...

(The entire section is 1239 words.)