Tag Archives: Smokey Bear

Sittin’ Around Sunday: Fighting Fires and Other True Stories

1 Jul

Sunday is my sit around and do nothin’ day. I thought to myself, “Self, what are you going to write about today? You don’t go anywhere or do anything exciting on Sunday.” This will be a tough one.” I fed the dogs, made my tea, grabbed my iPad and went to sit out in the backyard. It wasn’t so hot this morning and there was a powerful breeze. As the bright pink blossoms from the crepe myrtle trees started snowing crimson, I thought, maybe I’d make another music video. (Saving that for another day.)

I sat with my green tea, and the dogs tussled and ran around the yard. When I glanced up from my emails, I saw black billowing smoke coming from my next door neighbor’s back yard. The trees between our yards have gotten very tall, maybe fifteen feet or more. At first I thought, maybe someone was barbecuing or using a smoker.The dark smoke rose high above the trees.

I ran over to the fence, only to see huge white flames flashing almost to the garage roof. Panic! I yelled out, but no one was in the yard. The dogs were confused and barking, so I put them in the house and ran next door. I rang the bell and pounded on the door. No one was home.They were probably at church. Now what? If I ran home and dialed 911, it might take ten minutes or more for a fire truck to get there. The house could burn down.

A garden hose was just a few feet from the fence. Should I try and put out the fire myself? What if gas or electricity was involved and I made it worse, or God forbid, something explodes. The fire was coming out of melted pipes and singed connections from the pool equipment. My greatest concern was, if I didn’t act quickly, the house might catch on fire, so I grabbed the hose and said a prayer. After only five minutes or more, the fire seemed contained, but I gave it a few more minutes, wedging the still spraying hose between pipes, aimed at the black melted pipes. Then I ran home to dial 911.

The dispatcher asked for my name, location, etc., and I tried to be calm, but I’m sure my adrenalin induced voice sounded more like panic. I explained that the fire was out, but I’d feel better if the fire department checked it out. The truck arrived in just a few minutes. They turned off the circuit breakers for the equipment just to be safe and inspected the damage.

I felt pretty good when they said I did a good job and may have saved the rest of the equipment from catching on fire, and perhaps reaching the house. They were kind enough not to say anything like, “What were you thinking, lady? Just call 911!” Firefighter Simmons recognized me from my last cupcake drop-off at Station 5 last month, so I think he was being kind.

Needless to say, the neighbors were more than grateful when they got home. I told John, “Well, you saved me from that big snake that climbed into my dryer vent. I think we’re even.” A lot of hugs were exchanged and I was SO happy that I was in the right place at the right time. And yes, now I had something interesting to write about on an otherwise sleepy Sunday.


If I told you the nickname that my Mom calls me, you wouldn’t believe me. But, that’s another long story.