Monday, February 20, 2012

Burning Down The Lane

Oh, the sound of sirens. That all too familiar sound. Then it stopped. I know that means the fire must be close. I tore myself away from 'Talking Dead'. It was tough, but I did it. You never know if your fence, house, or dumpster might be on fire. It's always best to check.
It was dark outside, being 11:20pm and all. I had a quick look out the back window and saw an odd orange reflection in the neighbours window out back. That must be the fire. I went up to the window to have a closer look. Sure enough the fire truck was stopped right behind my house. That's a familiar spot for them to stop. They have been in that exact spot several times in the past few years.
Now I see it. Sparks are shooting up from the dumpster on the other side of the neighbours garage. Fire men are trying to get into the yard next door. They need to gain entry, and locate the neighbour so they can check the garage from the inside.
The fire was extinguished from the dumpster. I don't know how many times that dumpster has been on fire this year. It seems to be a popular one for torching. Someone stuffed a mattress into it a few days ago. I guess we should be happy we still have these large metal dumpsters. If the mattress was just thrown against the garage and lit on fire, the garage would have burnt. With the dumpsters the fires are contained.

I noticed something else last night. It isn't anything new, I have seen it at every fire on the street, and every time the Police come into the neighbourhood. The firemen were in no hurry. I don't mean that they don't care. But they are not rushing to the job. They get out of the truck and survey the scene. I guess they discuss stragegy, then finally, extinguish the fire. They know what they are doing, and they get it done. But there is no panic in their actions. For this particular fire, it was a dumpster fire, a mattress burning in a contained unit. I am always a little surprised at the slow pace that our emergency personel work at. It is not like the movies or the cop shows on tv where everyone is rushing around and crimes get solved in 60 minutes. This is reality. These firemen risk their lives on a daily basis putting out arsons and accidental fires. And they do it in real time, one step at a time. I see this sort of reality all too often here in the hood. It is an education I never asked for, and one I could do without.


  1. The day police officers and fire personnel don't err on the side of caution before they know what they are dealing with, may it be an armed suspect or noxious chemicals, is the day support staff dread. It's the day we might have to plan their memorial.

  2. I completely agree with you. My comment was an observation of their movements compared to the depiction of emergency personel on TV and in the movies.