2/14/2006

 

The Big Trivoli Fire of '06


[Prelude: I now live in the country, about fifteen miles outside of Peoria, IL. I live on a small lake and I live in an area where a lot of people live on small lakes. And a lot of people have 50-100 acres worth of land. On that land, most people do what are referred to as "controlled burns." lighting anywhere from 100 feet worth of lands to 10 or so acres on fire, in order to not only burn down vegetation, but to encourage growths on certain areas. It's something that I have helped my old man do countless times in the past and something which is all too common around here.]

Monday afternoon. I'm doing laundry. I walk out onto the porch to let a wet sweater air dry. As I opened the porch door, I noticed the pleasant smell of a bonfire. "Huh, " I thought to myself, "I hope my sweater doesn't end up smelling like smoke." I hung it up and went back inside, not really thinking much of the matter, and headed down to the basement to play The Lady Friend in a game of Wimbledon Championship Tennis on Sega Genesis.

About ten minutes later, I walked back upstairs, basking in the glory that is winning Wimbledon, and noticed that the "faint but lovely scent of bonfire" which I had earlier noticed had developed into "there's so much smoke that I can no longer see the lake which is 50 feet away from the house." Not good.

I walked around our land (we have a little over 60 acres) and made sure nothing there was on fire. However, as I glanced up to the road, it became clear that a valley across the road and about 1/4 mile down from our place was on fire. And there were 35 mph winds roaring. Not good at all.

I jumped in the Honda and drove down to the house in front of the smoldering valley and rang the doorbell. An apparently drunk 50-year-old opened the door, a tad sleepy.

The following conversation occurred:

Me: "Are you doing a controlled burn back there?"
Neighbor: (Wiping sleep from his eyes, obviously groggy) "Nah, man."
Me: "Well, you're doing something back there."
Neighbor: (Finally noticing the cloud of smoke which has engulfed his house) "OH SHIT!"


Immediately, he ran out behind his house to attempt to stomp out a fire which had already consumed about 20 acres with his boots. Oh shit, indeed.

While he was busy dirtying up his Timberlands, I hopped on my handy-dandy cellular telephone ("fight smarter, not harder") and dialed up 911. I had a horrible connection, so I drove back to my house and called 911 from our home phone again, just to make sure.

By the time I walked back to the fire, this time with The Lady Friend ("You want to see a big fire?" I asked her. "Sure!" she responded) it had nearly tripled in size. And it was coming up on an elderly couple's home, a large storage shed, and two different propane tanks. "Oh shit," I thought to myself, "this fire is worse than Jodie Sweetin's meth habit! (zing?)" Crap, crap, crap.

Soon after my calls to 911 went in, "The Siren" (as it's known around the area here) began blaring and within twenty minutes, ten different fire trucks from three different rural fire departments had shown up and the fire quickly was under control.

But not after singeing the ends of two propane tanks, one shed, one home, and torching about 50 acres of land.

If this kind of stuff is going to happen every day, I have apparently stumbled across one hell of an exciting life.

We'll see.

[note- that picture was not from the above mentioned fire. not only did we save no horses, there we no horses (or even donkeys) to be saved. but, if they were, i would haved saved them. for, if there are no donkeys, there can be no donkey shows.]

Comments:
I like how you were merely "walking" around to all these places. To make the story more intense, you should have used verbs such as "dashed", "scurried", "sprinted", "rushed", "scampered", etc.

Just a thought.
 
I'll let the Getto Boys answer for me on this one:

"Real gangsta ass niggas don't run from shit...'Cause real gangsta ass niggas don't run fast."

But, thanks for the input.
 
Good story, you should get yourself a fire extinguisher.
On a sports note, how about the boys hooping it up down in Tennessee.
 
you want him to lie? Is this James Frey again? Leave Al Alone, Jimmy!
 
Damn, I have about 1,000 square feet. You have acres. Enjoy the new setting!
 
Your neighbor needs a super-intelligent collie to warn him of such situations.
 
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