Do you know where your street fire hydrant is?

No this is not a pun or a play on words.

This is an actual question.

Let’s call this post a Public Service Announcement.

A mom at my daughter’s birthday party on Saturday had said that they are living in a guest house as their home had burnt down about three weeks ago.

After I got over the ‘what?’ part of the conversation – and she brought me a glass of wine to calm my nerves and explained that they had experienced a fire and their home was gutted. 

They had to live in a guest house until ….. well until …… when ever. 

The part that impressed me, was that she was the first to RSVP, she arrived timeously for the girl’s party and well she looked quite relaxed (more so when she heard there was wine on offer, and no tea and coffee).  I am not sure I would be that put together if my house had recently burnt down.

The story goes that she woke up at about 6:30 got her daughter dressed for school, and was heading up to the kitchen for breakfast/coffee, as you do.

Her house is on three levels with kitchen/main living area being on the first level. 

She said she got up to the top-level and then saw flames, arrived at the kitchen to find a column of flames on its way up and licking the ceiling.

She called the fire brigade and then hustled to get everyone out of the house.

It seems to the source was their Panasonic Microwave, which had shorted – it was turned off at the time and not in use.  Does that freak you out and make you want to unplug your own about now?  Yes, me too. 

During the conversation she kept referring to it as her “Panic Sonic” Microwave, and I thought that was either a Freudian slip or the wine talking, so from now on I am re-naming Panasonic to Panic Sonic.

Fire brigade arrived in their shiny red truck, with their very able firemen and their hoses and big … boots. 

That is really where the problem began, or should I say where she acquired an additional problem – considering her immediate problem was a huge raging fire in her kitchen.

The sign in her street indicating the location of the fire hydrant, did not have a fire hydrant, and then the game of ‘find the fire hydrant’ began.

45 minutes later was when they managed to start getting water onto the house, as that is how long it took them (and how ever wanted to join) and play find-the-frkn-fire-hydrant-while-my-house-burns-down.

The house was gutted.  No one was harmed and no animals were injured. 

However some vital things could have been saved if they had known where the fire hydrant was in the street so that they could direct the fire brigade.

So, today go out and walk up your road/street/complex and look for your fire hydrant.  Not just for the sign that says ‘fire hydrant’ but for the ACTUAL fire hydrant.

I am thinking of al the arbitrary things you should know, this is possibly one of those that will make you the most popular neighbour in the street, and maybe give you more time to rescue your wine collection if the fire is at your home.

Another disturbing story I read relating to this was this story where the fire brigade also arrived and could not use the fire hydrant at this particular home, as it was damaged and they could not clamp their hose thingy-magigee to the fire hydrant.  So house could not be saved …. now that must really be one of those times where you wonder how the universe has conspired against you.