I had this great story about a deer hunting trip from about fifteen years ago all set for today's post but I'm shelving it until tomorrow.
While I was at work early this morning I'm doing my usual patrols, checking all the things things that I need to check. I get to the diner next door to my apartment and check the doors. The doors are securely locked but upon looking inside the business, I notice the entire floor area filling up with thick smoke. Thinking quick, I drive right over to the fire house where several of my buddies were playing a game of pool. I go in and inform them of the situation and they quickly get on their bunker gear and get the engine fired up while I drive back across the street and go to the owner's house, which is directly behind the diner.
By the time I returned to the scene with the owner, the guys had quickly set up the apparatus and standing ready. The owner unlocked the door and let the firefighters enter. They found the source almost immediately, a batch of rags in a hamper that had spontaneously combusted. They dragged the hamper out to the parking lot where, upon hitting the fresh air ignited. My friends then extinguished that fire, I helped them set up the exhaust fan to vent the building of the thick, noxious smoke. The owner thanked us all and said he was staying to clean up the rest.
Everything taken care of and cleaned up in about forty-five minutes. It didn't hurt that the firehouse was almost directly across the street from the business and I was on duty. Great job by my buddies, as usual.
Now you're asking yourself, "Where's the irony, Tom?"
Here's the irony.
About six weeks ago, right after I joined the department something was brought up at the meeting on Thursday night. Apparently the owner of the diner complained to the Chief that none of the fire fighters could park in the diner's parking lot anymore because he was losing business. Potential customers couldn't find parking because of the lot being filled. This was bullshit and we all knew it, we were only parking there for about two hours every Thursday night and it was his slowest time of business and he closes shop at 9 PM anyway. And there is no parking at all at the station. He had informed all of us if he found any of our cars parked in his lot he would have them towed. You can imagine what everyone's reaction was... A voice who shall remain nameless said something to the effect that the response time might suffer if the owner's property ever was to catch fire... Not that anyone would actualy do that, it was just venting.
See the irony?
Karma's a bitch.
On to a second little nugget...
Apparently over the weekend sometime someone actually STOLE our brush truck from outside of our firehouse...
So if any of you driving around southern West Virginia or southwest Virginia see a 1977 Red Dodge Powerwagon 4X4 pickup truck with a 100 gallon water tank , reel-hose and generator in the bed, red light bar and has "Athens WV Fire Department #8" painted in gold-leaf on both doors, please call the Mercer County WV Sheriff's Office, we'd really like it back as we kind of need it right now.
Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden