There was a fire today in West Fargo. The house on fire was one that sits on Sheyenne Court (the street whose backyards abut to the backyards on my street). Mike caught sight of it at about 5:40 PM and was over the fence and heading in that direction before I could even get 911 on the line. In front of Mike was a neighbor with a little fire extinguisher and another neighbor coming from the side with a hose. It was a sight to behold. A really scary sight.
I have to say, when I saw the man with the little fire extinguisher heading in the direction of the fire (which was quickly engulfing the entire side of the garage) I thought it was an exercise in futility. But darn it if he didn’t knock that fire down darn quick with that little thing. Mike eventually got tasked with the hose being the tallest in the group.
The fire seemed to be pretty well out by the time the West Fargo Fire Department finally arrived about ten minutes later. The fire made short order of the siding – it was scary how fast the fire consumed it.
Once it was clear that the neighbors had the fire under control, I immediately went into the house and checked on my fire extinguisher. I didn’t hug it, but I was tempted to. If it hadn’t been for that little fire extinguisher and the man who arrived knowing how to use it, that house would have sustained substantially more damage. God bless him and the other neighbors who jumped right in to help. The only one home today in the house that started on fire was a teenage kid. I imagine he was scared to death. I am happy that we live in a place where folks get involved and help others.
I hate fire. It has always scared the living daylights out of me, and since the Galleria fire in October 2010 my fear has only worsened. Seeing a fire today so close with a decent wind to bolster it reminded me of how vulnerable we are should a neighbor’s house start on fire. I suddenly felt an urge to acquire more fire extinguishers so that I could store them within a few steps of any given location inside or outside the house.
Take a minute today to remind all your family members where your fire extinguisher is and how to use it. Also discuss your escape plan and family rally point in the event of a fire. A little bit of conversation now can save lives later.
Fires happen every day. They often start in the most innocuous ways – a candle left burning, a discarded cigarette, a bottle rocket – but once started they can quickly threaten property and lives. Scary stuff indeed.
Be fire smart and if you feel the urge, please do hug your fire extinguisher…some day it may be your (or your neighbor’s) salvation.
Day one thousand and thirty-five of the new forty – obla di obla da