Fire Prevention Week

fire

After a hard day’s work I went to pick up a Cocker Spaniel for my daughter that I had seen advertised in the newspaper. He was cute and I even brought a small cardboard box home so that he would have a nice temporary bed.

About 3:00 AM I felt my wife’s sharp elbow prodding me in the ribs.

“Wake up,” she said, “the house is on fire.”

I opened one eye and told her to pick out a better dream. She began pulling on my arm and I could see how frantic she was. She said she smelled smoke!

When I smelled the smoke myself, I thought the dog had jumped out of the box and somehow had caught fire by the furnace in the corner. I cascaded down the stairs six at a time and when I reached the furnace room my heart sank. The entire ceiling above the furnace was ablaze and there was at least two feet of dense, black smoke on the ceiling.

The dog’s eyes were wide and blinking. The dog was probably thinking…”What sort of house did I end up in? Who barbecues inside?”

I grab the dog and scream for my wife to call the fire department and to throw my pants down the stairs. I run to the laundry tub and begin filling up a pail of water. I start back towards where my wife had thrown my pants down and begin sliding across the wet floor until I almost break my neck. Turns out my direction was bad and only half of the faucet’s flow was hitting the bucket and the other half was hitting the floor. My pants were sopping wet and I’m thinking it’s not a bad thing because now it’s going to make me fireproof.

I throw one bucket on the fire and it does nothing to squelch the flames. I have one chance to put out the fire. My outside hose reel hasn’t been turned off for the winter. Even though it’s cold out, I figure the heat from the fire may have thawed out my hose and I crawl under the blanket of smoke to the rear door, which is next to the furnace. The acrid, sickly sweet smoke is in my lungs but I make it outside before burning my hands on the hot door knob. I grab the hose and run with it until I’m facing the fire and turn it on full force until the water extinguishes the flames in minutes.

The front door bell rings and I tell the firemen not to be shy. They are carrying axes and fire extinguishers but they can see that I have beaten them at their own game. The Lieutenant tells me that it’s the beginning of Fire Prevention Week and asks if I’m ready for a lecture. I told him he should have given me the lecture before the fire and not after. He said that as a novice fireman I did a heck of a job except for one thing. I had opened the windows next to the laundry tub from the bottom up, instead of from the top down. Instead of getting rid of the smoke I had been fanning the flames. I felt truly chastised, shook their hands and told them to drop by when things were not so hot.

The next morning I bumped into my next door neighbor (who claimed she’s an insomniac and has not had a good night’s sleep in five years.)

“How did you like all the commotion last night?”

“What commotion?” she asked.

She had slept through the entire episode.

(photo courtesy of Branimir Ritonja/Dreamstime.com)

Jerry Goldberg About Jerry Goldberg

Jerry Goldberg grew up on the west side of Chicago. After high school, he was drafted in the Army during the Korean conflict. Upon his honorable discharge, he joined Local 130 in Chicago as a plumber, working from 1952 to 2000. Jerry has been happily married for 60 years, residing with his wife, Gloria, in Huntley, Illinois. They were blessed with two wonderful children, and have three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
When his son encouraged him to get online, Jerry replied, "What do I need that for?" But all that changed a year into his retirement, when his daughter gave him a modem for his birthday, opening a whole new chapter. Finding stained glass insufficiently fulfilling, Jerry discovered the AARP message boards and began his one-finger magic. Eventually, he became quite proficient (two fingers), starting a board called, "Jerry's Corner."

This board was the second most popular board on AOL. Jerry bantered with any and all, and began writing humorous true stories of his past life. The stories you see here are a compilation of most he has written ... enjoy!

Jerry Goldberg About Jerry Goldberg

Jerry Goldberg grew up on the west side of Chicago. After high school, he was drafted in the Army during the Korean conflict. Upon his honorable discharge, he joined Local 130 in Chicago as a plumber, working from 1952 to 2000. Jerry has been happily married for 60 years, residing with his wife, Gloria, in Huntley, Illinois. They were blessed with two wonderful children, and have three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
When his son encouraged him to get online, Jerry replied, "What do I need that for?" But all that changed a year into his retirement, when his daughter gave him a modem for his birthday, opening a whole new chapter. Finding stained glass insufficiently fulfilling, Jerry discovered the AARP message boards and began his one-finger magic. Eventually, he became quite proficient (two fingers), starting a board called, "Jerry's Corner."

This board was the second most popular board on AOL. Jerry bantered with any and all, and began writing humorous true stories of his past life. The stories you see here are a compilation of most he has written ... enjoy!

Smiles For All