This one also goes under the topic of, “Yes, call 911 when you think your house is on fire,” but is listed amongst my other stories for the comments we receive during cleanup. It’s a classic.

A family has called reporting their chimney has embers coming out of it and the fire has been out for a few hours.

Thank goodness for the thermal imaging camera. First companies are able to pinpoint the area of involvement and quickly act to water down the proper chimney vent. As we’re due in after all the excitement, we assist the first folks in reloading hose while the neighbors are out in their robes pointing and commenting. One woman approaches and this is what transpires:
Fire Expert -“Excuse me, but is the fire out?”
Fireman -“Yes Ma’am it was a small bit of build up in the chimney, not entirely uncommon.”
Fire Expert -“But look, there’s still smoke up there” Pointing to the roof, still populated by firemen.
Fireman-“No ma’am that’s steam. See how it dissipates instead of rising in a plume? That’s how you tell the difference.”
Fire Expert-“I know steam and that is not steam. Do those men up there know…can they see…will you tell them I can still see smoke?”
Fireman-“We’ll pass that along but I think they have a good view from there.”
Fire Expert-“I think someone should call and report that it’s still smoking, just to be sure.” She says as she’s walking away.

I was steaming for sure, the boss who was talking with her almost climbed down from the hose bed and started some trouble.

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