Fighting Fire With…Water

So I promised not to make this dumb ol’ blog just about writing and trying to find an agent and all that other stuff that would drive normal, casual blog-browsers to induce a coma unto themselves.

By god, I’m gonna stick to my guns.

So, I fought a fire last night. Yep. A good ol’ rip-roaring house fire. Well, it was a townhouse fire, but really when it comes to the home, it’s just symantics, am I right?

It always happens at the seemingly worst times. Since I’m what they refer to as a ‘paid-on-call’ firefighter/EMT, I don’t live at the fire station. It’s also not my full-time job. I carry a pager around (sort of like a cross between being on house arrest and being an old school drug dealer from the 80’s) and when they need me, I swing into action.

I was just whipping up some of my famous Blue Box Special Mac N’ Cheese for Little T when the pager twittered at me. Leaving the water to boil (and having my wife take over), I dashed to the TKT Assault Vehicle.

Oven fire. Contained. No one inside the structure.

Now, I don’t want to say I drive like a maniac, but I sort of drive quickly to get there in time. Every minute counts. Not only to get there and hose the place down before it all goes up in flames, but because I want a good seat on the fire truck.

I got a good seat. Sort of.

When you hop in the fire trucks at Woodbury, there are certain jobs assigned to whatever seat you grab. I always grab the back seat to the right. That means I’m the first one on the hoseline and thus, get to see some action.

Well, that’s supposed to be how it goes.

Somehow I ended up pulling hose for the people already inside the townhouse. Sure there were flames and smoke and all sorts of things melting before my eyes, but we got to the scene just after the first truck, so they all got to be the super-jocks. Crap.

As I was standing there like a benched ballplayer with the chorus of John Fogerty’s ‘Centerfield‘ song going through my head, I noticed the dude owned a pretty sweet Jaguar. I couldn’t help but think: Man, I would’ve pulled that out of the garage in a New York second. Then I remembered I hate overly expensive cars (and usually the people who drive them) and thought: Hey, if it melts, I’m not gonna cry.

Long story short, the guy’s house was a total wreck somewhere during our drive to the house, the fire got out of control and burned the bejesus out of everything. Everything was covered in black. His thermostat on the wall was a melted blob. His kitchen was charred and felt like the inside of a campfire. While I didn’t get to hose down the fire (this time!) I did get to pull down the ceiling and tear apart the walls looking for ‘extension.’*

Anyway, after a couple of hours the fire was under control, and we headed home. My wife was just about ready for bed and Little T was already 2 hours asleep. Even though I’d just taken a shower hours previously, I smelled like a hot dog that’d dropped off of the roasting stick and into the roaring flames. That is to say, I had to take a shower.

And so it goes…

* Firefighter Fun Fact # 232: ‘Extension’ is a term we use to say we’re checking to see if the FIRE SPREAD anywhere else in the walls of the structure.