The other night we were on our way home from dinner. The car was nice and full, all of us plus our “Auntie” Justin. We were having a wonderful night!
From the highway I look towards our lovely little Norwegian town and I see a very odd column of smoke. Not so odd, not really. It’s still quite chilly here and folks are making fires in the late evening to keep their houses warm through the night. Not so odd to see smoke, just this column. It was kinda big and smokey. I wasn’t sure it was from a house.
I said to those in the car: look at that odd column of smoke. What do you think it is?
Everyone gave an answer, the most common being that our wonderful Market was smokin up some nummies for the coming weekend. They do have a pretty good mini-bbq! Everyone pretty much agreed, it was some food being prepped for those de-lish pulled pork sandwiches.
My son says: Oh Mom, can we please go see? Please?
My daughter pipes in: Oh yes! Can we?
I hemmed: it’s so late you guys. Bed time was two hours ago….
Both: Please! Let’s go see. We wanna see.
Me to Dad: what do you think?
Dad: it’ll take all of 5 minutes…
Me, I hawed: well it is a school night…and its so late…the girl…she needs her rest…
Both kids and “Auntie”: oh come on, it’ll be fun! A discovery!
Me to Dad: It would be an adventure. Ok I’m in. You?
So off we went in a direction not quite towards home.
We drove past a church that has a large field. The field was filled with smoke. We all said how odd…Dad said: no wind, low pressure, it’s just hanging out.
We kept going.
Closer to the market the smell hit us. Auntie Justin said: yes, their definitely getting ready for the weekend.
I said: But it smells awful! That is not meat cooking! It smells like they are burning cigars-ick!
Son said: I think it smells like someone is burning boots. This is nasty!
Dad said: Could be a new spice their trying.
We arrive at the Market…no smoker action…nothing. They are not cooking. It’s too early for a weekend cooking anyway and it’s late at night. It’s not them.
We drive up a hill to turn around.
Coming down the hill we see the column again and realize…this is NOT good! The column is coming from a chimney and it’s HUGE, stinky and not looking right. It was actually dark grey…
If you know about fires, you know what smoke color means. Dark is not good. Not good at all. Especially coming from someone’s chimney.
We drive to the house and pull in their driveway.
Most of the family was outside, looking at the chimney.
The smoke turned black. This is serious. Black smoke means FIRE-fire IN the chimney.
We rolled down the window and asked the gentlemen if everything was ok. He said they had a little fire inside and now they were watching on the outside.
I said: that is not looking good.
Justin said: have you called 911 yet?
He said: no, not yet, we’re watching.
I said: Umm…you need to call now, there are flames coming out the top of your chimney now.
And flames did come. Small and delicate at first, then large and hungry.
The gentleman said: Hey Ma, call the fire department, there’s flames now.
We asked if we could help anymore, he said no. We pulled out of the driveway and got out of the way for the fire truck.
We waited, across the street, out of the way. It seemed like they didn’t want to call 911…it was very odd, very concerning. Even though there were flames coming right out the top of the chimney, they seemed hesitant. Hesitation and fire do not a good combo make…
We almost called 911, ourselves, again, because the flames were getting really big by now and it had been quite some time. Relatively, quite some time. Actually, maybe five minutes. But five minutes to a hungry fire is four too many…
We waited and Justin asked if we could pray. We did. We prayed.
We watched the family finally come out of the house, there were quite a few of them. At last an ambulance arrived. Shortly there after a fire truck. Then another.
We watched as they got out the hose, put on oxygen tanks, masks and helmets, grab a ladder and climb to the roof. Some fire fighters went in the house, others went on the roof.
The smoke turned white and we breathed again.
The house did not burn down.
No one was hurt.
Thank you to my two little heroes who wanted an adventure after dinner. The way the family was acting, we are still not sure they would’ve called the fire department until we asked. Because of your sense of discovery, you took us there to get that call in. It may have only been a few minutes earlier than they would have, but minutes count in a fire. They count big time.
Thank you Fire Fighters everywhere. The job you do can never be rewarded. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your courage, strength, will and expertise. Because of you so many lives are saved each and every day. Many, many blessings to you, always.