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Where there’s smoke...

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by SnapCracklePop, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. SnapCracklePop

    SnapCracklePop Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    Messages:
    269
    Loc:
    Southwestern Penna
    Don't know if I've been good or bad...

    I'm now delivering newspapers on a motor route in the middle of the night. Early on Dec. 24, as I stuffed a paper into a customer's box, I got a whiff of awful-smelling smoke, and I looked for the source. It seemed as if a big garage in the back might be on fire. Smoke was coming from near the top of the front gable, and a whole big puff seemed to come out of a large garage door on the side. I'm talking way more smoke than "normal."

    I started to move on, then thought "better safe than sorry." I called and described what I saw/smelled to the 911 dispatcher.

    He asked if it was an outdoor furnace, and I replied that I couldn't see well enough because two large spotlights were shining in my direction. I didn't add that as a woodburner I know what a wood fire should smell like, and this wasn't even close.

    Anyway, 911 guy said he'd send someone to check on it. On my way home, a fire truck passed me going in that direction.

    I had just installed an app on my iPhone that turns it into a police/fire scanner. I turned that on and heard the dispatcher giving directions to "my" fire. Then, nothing.

    Later, on the afternoon of the 24th, I passed the house on my way to a Christmas Eve Quaker Meeting. In daylight, I could see a stovepipe on the building in question and, sure enough, big garage doors on the side.

    So no news is good news; I never heard any more about this. I might have irritated the customer in question. Or, they might be grateful that someone cared. Time will tell...

    Nancy

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  2. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Messages:
    2,052
    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley, MA
    Many lives have been saved by observant people going to or coming home from work in the early morning hours. I'd be happy that some was looking out for me. I think it is called being a good citizen.
  3. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,353
    Loc:
    NW Ontario
    What might look like a garage could in fact be a shelter built around an OWB but as you said, better safe than sorry. Owners of smoke dragon OWBs should be used to getting false alarms. Personally, I would have knocked on the door rather than drag out the FD.

    My home is set back from the road obscured by trees. I've had people get alarmed when I am burning down my brush pile. They usually just stop to get a better look but sometimes honk their horn. I burn my brush pile late in the evening when winds have died down and the view of the fire through the trees can look alarming. My neighbor is the VFD Chief so if they did get a call, he'd just look out his window and then go back to bed.
  4. wishlist

    wishlist Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Messages:
    540
    Loc:
    Corunna, Michigan
    Nancy, you did the right thing. I have 2 neighbors that have OWB and I swear sometimes it looks like a coal plant!

    Years ago the wife and I went to Nashville and decided to take some backroads as were closer to town. Immediately we noticed a barn smoking! Turned around and knocked on door, lady said to us it was just the tobacco drying in the barn. Felt stupid but she did thank us. From then on it seemed every barn was a smoking! Gotta like the good people in Tennessee! Lol...;)
  5. Stephen in SoKY

    Stephen in SoKY Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Messages:
    333
    Loc:
    Southern Kentucky
    Warning, thread drift: That's Dark Fired Tobacco. Fire cured to impart color. Ya'll ought to see the loads of green slab used to start/revive the fires and the grain truck loads of sawdust used to create the smoke. Good barns are very smoke tight, often using roll roofing to seal the sides. A very intricate system of small vents, often conrolled by ropes at ground level, control the amount of smoke based on the stage of curing.
  6. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    15,444
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    I would rather someone call and get me out of bed and find out it is nothing than to have someone just go on their merry way and think it might not be anything serious since just my luck it would be a real fire. . . . better safe than sorry . . . "good intention" calls are called that for a reason . . .
  7. snowleopard

    snowleopard Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,494
    In some neighborhoods, a knock on the door in the middle of the night is answered by an armed homeowner, so I can understand Nancy's decision. However, I agree that if you're belching foul smoke, getting a wake-up call from the fire department might make one stop and think. Or not.

    Nice to see you posting, Nancy!
  8. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Messages:
    2,388
    Loc:
    northern-half of maine
    Good judgement call. Fire spreads alot quicker than we think.
  9. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,995
    Loc:
    Rochester,ny
    Kudos for calling it in but ............
  10. snowleopard

    snowleopard Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,494
    but what?

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