Story of Carmel fire featured in ‘Chicken Soup’


Holly Green knew exactly what she wanted to write when she heard about the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” theme for its upcoming book.

“When I got the email about Kindness Matters, the fire at our medical office popped into my head right away,” she said. “The kindness of the people of Carmel in the wake of that disaster had a profound effect on me. I am grateful and happy to live here.”

CIC COM 0405 Holly Green

The fire occurred in November 2005 at the Family Physicians of Carmel office on Medical Drive across from the Post Office. Green said firefighters surmised that sometime during the night, a spark in electrical wiring in the attic caused the blaze. The entire building burned down.

“When the staff arrived at the scene the next morning, we could only stand and stare in horror at the remains,” said Green, who was a nurse there at the time. “The practice had been there for decades, and all the records for thousands of patients were destroyed by flame and water. This was a huge blow not only to the doctors and staff, but to all the patients who counted on us for their care. The first thing I heard one of the doctors say was, ‘Our poor patients. They’ll be so upset. We’ve got to reassure them.’ We ended up temporarily using space on the west side of Carmel in a new St. Vincent building until ours could be rebuilt. We moved back in February of 2007.

“On that awful first day post-fire, we had many immediate offers of assistance from Carmel residents.”

Green said three of those gracious gestures are described in her story. She said that was the first of many times the community assisted after the fire. Green said her story “Fire!” was shared in the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” podcast. She previously wrote two stories for “Chicken Soup for the Soul” about dogs in 2020.

Green has two more stories in a humor issue this month for the book series.

“One is a story about my mother as a 90-year-old, and the other is a story about my two youngest grandsons when they were quite tiny,” she said.

Green said she wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember.

“During the time my boys were young, I wrote nonfiction pieces for family and parenting magazines and even a full-length book on domestic violence, ‘Turning Fear to Hope,’ (in 1984),” she said. “When I retired from nursing at the end of 2012, I turned to fiction and recently published a series of three novels.”

Green authored “What Julia Wrote,” “Linger” and “Exactly Enough” under the name Anne Ashberg to keep her fiction and nonfiction writing separate.

“They are a single series featuring the character of Jill Pennyworth and follow her life over the course of several years, from her initial meeting with a notorious crime family through a first tragic love and loss, the birth of her daughter and her struggles to survive as a single mother and business owner,” Green said. “She lives in the shadow of an underworld empire that alternately endangers and protects her.”

Green’s fourth novel, “Swan In Winter,” will be released soon. The books are available on Amazon.