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Thread: Would you care if your home was on fire?

  1. #1

    Would you care if your home was on fire?

    What an oddity.

    I was dropping my wife off at the hair solon when I saw this plume of smoke rise from the chimney of the house next door. It was not just smoke, but thick, heavy and gray. I even pointed it out to my wife and then it just blew up. I mean this big fireball. Really big. Kind of like an explosion since the smoke was now on fire. It simmered down pretty quick but it was a good chimney fire nonetheless.

    So I grab the cell phone and call 911. They need the house number so I am running towards the house to get the number and see if anyone is inside. The first apartment there is no one home, but in the back there is a 60's ish woman, in her bath robe typing away on the computer. Its 14:30 PM.

    I was like,"Did you know you have a chimney fire?"

    She looks at me in disgust and says,"Well how bad is it?"

    "Pretty darn bad."

    "Then she says, "Well what do you want me to do about it?"

    "I said,"Well I called the fire department so you might want to get dressed before they get here."

    Now I know it was just a chimney fire, but here in Maine a lot of houses have been lost because a chimney fire went from bad to worse. This woman had no care in the world about it. It was like I ruined her day because I was telling her chimney was on fire.

    Anyway the fire department came and it was not a simple chimney fire. They had 3 trucks there by the time they got the fire out. (two engines and a ladder truck. They needed the extra trucks to get to the tall chimney). It did not spread to the rest of the house however.

    Anyway back inside the Hair Salon they said she has fires all the time which explained her cavalier attitude. Myself I am not one to panic easily but if I have a fire in my house, that would cause me to get a touch excited.

    PS: Woodburners on this forum...a good reminder to watch for cresote build up.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    We have lost quite a few homes due to chimney fires over the years.
    Not a type fire to take lightly, She was lucky to have you in the area
    to take action, you may have saved her live!

    She may not be so lucky next time.
    Don’t have the best tools, don't use the best woods and projects don’t always turnout perfeck.
    I just feel the need to work with wood!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Kind of reminds me of the time several years sweetheart and I were out for a drive on a cold clear winter morning. As we drove by a country house we saw a pail on fire on the front step beside the house. I stopped, drove into the yard and found that someone had emptied the ashes from a wood stove into the metal pail and then set the pail onto the front step right beside the wood siding that clad the house. In the cold oxygen rich air the coals had caught fire again and were burning up along the siding of the house. I moved the pail into the yard away from the house, knocked on the door and told the women who answered the knock that her house had almost caught fire from the pail. Her response......."ok - thanks", followed by the door closing in my face..........

    If we had been five minutes later.....she probably would have cared a bit more.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    There are probably more poorly designed and built chimneys than good ones. As much as I rankle at any kind of government interference in folks' lives (e.g. building codes), I have to admit that amateur built chimneys can be deadly, and sometimes are. Occasionally some people do need protection from themselves.
    Good work, Travis.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Indianapolis area
    Unbelievable isn't she?: Good for you Travis!


    "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
    Vince Lombardi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Nice work Travis. Our neighbors caught fire a few years back and my dad noticed the flames coming out the top. They got it put out and shortly after my dad had some sticks that looked like road flares that were extinguishers for just such a problem.

    Sounds like the FD should either fine her or shut her fireplace down until a good cleaning has been done and an inspection performed if it has happened before.

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Lakeport NY and/or the nearest hotel
    Many years ago when I lived in Utica, my neighbors were having a christmas party and had a fire going... I looked out our window and saw smoke roiling out of the chimney... in the Middle of the building height wise.. I had my folks call 911 and went and got the nieghbors and all of their guests out of their house and over to ours while the firemen showed up. Minor damage to their house, rollicking party going on at ours... (guests had brought the munchies and drinks with them...)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Hi Travis

    Well done to you on not just leaving it be like so many people do these days.
    Not wishing to hijack your thread but this incident reminded me of a bad experience I had way back in the late 70's. A friend of mine and I were on a walk about (tour) in Scotland (United Kingdom),We were at the Glasgow main train station waiting for a train when we saw a young man threatening a young woman with a large knife. Concern about the womans safety we charged over there to do the honourable thing and defend the lady(or so we thought). We had just finished our stint in the army and naturally being young and brave did not give the dangers a second thought. When we approached to sort out the problem which by now had escalated to the point where the guy had the woman with the knife at her throat, instead of her being greatful we were coming to sort him out they both turned on us with the rage of two tigers.

    You can imagine our surprise and shock.

    Still the incident has not stopped me from helping people in distress. Just a bit more cautious now.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    new york city burbs
    I lived through a fire in my home when I was 10.
    I was sleeping and was woken up by my father, who Ive never seen like that before.

    He was like a madman, he grabbed me by the arm, while I was sleeping, waking up with him dragging me by the arm in one hand and my brother by the arm in his other hand, my brother being around 13 at the time.

    My baby sister, had a nightlight, it lit her sheets on fire, she had left the bed long before to jump into my parents bed, and my other younger sister was laying in bed sleeping in the same room.
    My mother walked barefoot across a wooden floor, partially on fire and reached through the flames to grab my sister out of the bed and ran downstairs.
    My father screaming the entire time, my grandmother was sleeping over, and he kept screaming at her to just get out, not to worry about anything.
    He ran back upstairs, my brother followed him, he grabbed the mattress on fire, opened the porch door and threw it out the door, it burst into flames as he flung it.

    It was around 4:45 am, I remember a guy walking his dog, watching us run out of our home, the smoke, and my father in his boxer shorts flinging the mattress, and the dog walker shouted to my father, should I call the fire dept?

    I always wondered, what was this neighbor thinking that he had to ask if he should call the fire dept.

    It was a very scary moment for me.

    My mother was taken to the hospital by ambulance for severe burns on her feet and forearms.

    ya did the right thing,

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Where I leave we are about 300 yards from a forest full of pine trees.
    A few weeks ago when going to work I saw a colum of smoke raising up, I called the local emergency number, and the woman who took my call was doubting about my information, she asked me with "that" presumtious voice

    "Are you sure it is not fog what you see, you know... there is a lot of fog there this time of the year" so "I said may be the fog is in your brain" I hung up and I called the firebrigade myself. They were there in 5 minutes and I can assure you I've never seen such flames in a fog.

    The only thing I can say is that it was 6:30 in the morning and she must have been sleeping instead of being awake that's what she's being paid for.
    Best regards,

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

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