The following tale is of a guy who got lucky, but not for the reason you think.


Don’t you just love when your dinner is interrupted at work?  I do, especially when your bells are preceded by dispatch calling out for units on the air to stand by for a fire dispatch. “Stand by for the box!”


It is the evening and we are first due with the truck close behind.  On arrival we have light smoke showing from the alley between two 5+ story type 5 apartment buildings, this is going to be tricky.

As we pack up the truck is already stopped and I hear the PTO kick in as the officer calls for a ready line and I pull it down and onto the nozzleman’s (woman tonight) shoulder.

She advances as I follow laying the line out, irons in my other hand.

The sound of the aerial going up is just below the shouts of people down the alley shouting and pointing at a rear garden apartment with heavy white smoke coming out.

As we set the line for entry we can see it was a small kitchen fire which has been extinguished with a small dry chem can which is now sitting in the doorway.

The doors and windows are opened up to ventilate the chemical and the offending pan is removed to the alley.

As we down shift from working fire to PR mode I notice two folks in their late teens or early twenties who appear to have been hastily dressed.  Hair tossled, faces red.

When the Battalion Chief asked them what happened there was the embarrassed smile and a look at each other.

“I should have waited to start the oil.” He says and smiles to the now dozen firefighters cleaning up and helping to open windows.

“Tough way to learn that lesson,” the Chief remarks later.

Back at the dinner table we discussed various comments that may have been made in the other room while the kitchen began to burn.

Everyone got out safe and they were able to stay there that night.  The lucky part of all of this was that their smoke detector did not go off…no battery.  Lucky guy indeed.

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