Monday, January 16, 2012

Fiery tales

We're a slow and quiet city today.  Snow has made us that way.  As I read the most recent update from the City of Seattle's Emergency Operations Center, I was struck again by how simple acts of carelessness cause fires, even in this enlightened city.

The first full response fire in the middle of the night was because of candles left burning in the kitchen after the resident had gone to bed.  Chilling, isn't it, to think that this could happen even in your own home if you aren't alert enough to double check that all fires are out before retiring?  This happened to have taken place in a complex where 36 other residents were evacuated and shivered on a bus brought in to shelter them from snow and cold until the fire was completely out. 

The second full response fire is even harder to grasp, since the media has spent so much time telling us the story of the Connecticut fire that killed two adults and three children.  In last night's events, fireplace embers were improperly disposed of, in this case to a garbage can near the house.  So the fire climbed the outside wall of the house into the eaves.  

I'm a big fan of fire safety and especially fire fighters with their rapid responses, in part because of a fire from an electrical short that once consumed the third story of our house in Rochester, N.Y.  It was an instructive and expensive lesson for us at the time. 

So in the words of Sergeant Phil Esterhaus on Hill Street Blues:  " Hey, let's be careful out there, people!"

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