6:45ish PM 'Rents & I are sitting down to dinner. We're eating outside, having just finished grilling over charcoal. Our next door neighbors-who, it must be said, we have not at all gotten along with in the past-have a gaggle of friends and family over, and are about to start their grilling…
When the valve pops on the propane tank of their gas grill. There's a BANG! And a WHOOSH!
And a cone of fire is shooting out of the top of their grill. Everyone scatters. I run into the kitchen, grab the phone, and dial 911.
"There's a fire emergency at [wrong address number, correct street]."
I run out the front door, where my parents are already waiting. I run back inside to grab my keys and move my car as the first police car pulls up. At this point, smoke and flames are starting to billow up from the back of their house. Another cop pulls up, they both talk into their radios, and we begin to hear the distant sirens coming closer.
Within 10 minutes, there are four fire trucks of varying functions and sizes along the street, and water is being poured on the fire, the smoke from which is visible, apparently, from miles away. I, along with the 'rents, move through the rapidly gathering crowd, spreading correct information and telling the tale. More than one person gives me a "Hail, stout fellow" (well, not in those words) for making the 911 call.
In the end, the damage is bad. It will be a long time before they can go back to living in the house, it seems-most of the back burned off, parts of the roof, and some ceilings, at least from the eyeballing I gave it. But all the people are safe, which is the important thing.
One of the thoughts I had while I was standing in the driveway watching all the activity was this: you get an odd sense of power when you realize all the forces that can be brought to bear with a single phone call.
Today's Link Of The Day is FireTips. I knew I wanted to do a fire safety link (unsurprisingly), and while the idea of l inking to a kinds' safety page was not without its charms, FireTips is about the closest thing I can find to something decent. Go see: http://www.firetips.com
9/4/2001 3:24 AM