Late Night Excitement

And no, you filthy minded perv, I'm not talking about in our bedroom. In the wee hours of Thursday morning of the week we returned from the hospital, there was quite a commotion on our little cul-de-sac. It was around 3am, and Jenn and I were both awake. Jenn was trying to sleep with Corbin in the guest bed, and I was trying to get some shut eye in our own bed. I noticed that our court was very brightly lit for such an early hour. I pulled the shade of the window to the side only to see that there was a circus of fire equipment outside. As I counted, there were four fire engines, a rescue truck, and an ambulance lined up on our little street. All of them had their lights flashing, but there were no sirens. The engine closest to us had the flood lights on, and it looked like firemen were going in and out of the house two down from our own. I checked in on Jenn to make sure everything was okay, and let her know what I had seen. Koby was very interested in all of the commotion as well. I watched for quite a while, and I could see that the men were particularly interested in the chimney of the home. I assumed that there had been a chimney fire. After a while, the lady who lived there went back into her home with her two young sons, and I thought that everything must be okay, so I went to bed.

The next day, I received an update from my neighbor as to what had happened. The family had been burning a fire that evening, and when it got to be bed time, there were still some hot embers in the fireplace. They decided to leave the flue open and go to bed. The twin boys slept in front of the fireplace, and mom went to bed. Around three, one of the boys woke as he had wet himself. He woke up his mom, and she immediately noticed that there was smoke on the ceiling. She searched the house for a fire, but couldn't find one. All of the embers in the fireplace were out, and there seemed to be no source for the smoke. She called the non-emergency number for the fire department and explained the situation. She asked if they could send out someone to check it out, and asked that they not wake everyone in the neighborhood up. The fire department said that she would need to call the emergency number instead. So she called the emergency number and again explained the situation. She asked again that someone just come and take a look, as it did not appear to be an emergency. The operator said that one truck would come out to assess the situation. It must have been a slow night in our town, because we got four engines. I guess it is normal protocol to send out a rescue truck and ambulance for any fire related 911 call, so that is why we got those, but for four engines to show up for some smoke was pretty extreme.

The firemen checked the house from head to toe, and they couldn't find any other source for the smoke. The fire marshall decided that what must have happened is the smoke became stagnant in the chimney. The weather had been pretty mild, and he said that, without enough heat, the smoke can get trapped in the chimney column. A downdraft must have occurred, forcing the smoke back into the house. Since the flue was open, there was nothing to stop it from coming back in. This caused the house to fill with smoke. I guess the house was pretty noxious with the fumes, so they used a special fan to suck out all of the smoke and carbon monoxide. I can't imagine how it must smell. Everything must be okay, though, as they installed a new swingset the next weekend, and they spent every night in the house.


Jade Mason