Saturday, August 22, 2009


It is August, and while I am not on vacation, this blog is. We'll be back in a couple of weeks, slightly tanned and wearing a pair of Latin men. Ciao!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fire! Or, Where Do I Cash In Near Death Experience Points?

Gas leaks are bad.

I've been helping my (newlywed) friends Lynzie and Mike move into their new apartment. This involves putting together lots of IKEA furniture, and playing with their tiny dog, Romeo and slightly less tiny cat, Orion. A bit more fun than moving has any right to be- which was dramatically corrected this past Tuesday.

There are two plot lines here- the fire, and the domestic disturbance next door.

Lynzie and I are waiting for the brownies to come finish baking (you must eat to build, you see) when we hear somebody BANGING on their front door and yelling "Get out here, you asshole!" Lynzie raises an eyebrow and opens the door to see a woman banging on the next door over.

"Oh, sorry sweetie, it's not you," Crazy Yelling Lady said at a normal volume. We closed the door and heard, "Be a man! I know that bitch is in there!"

We went back to the kitchen, where the brownie timer was summoning us. I took the pan out of the oven and put it the stove top to cool; Lynzie turned off the oven. We both noticed a funny hissing noise, but the dishwasher was running so we chalked it up to that. Until Lynzie saw the smoke.

Lynzie grabbed the dog and started looking for a fire extinguisher (probably still packed- we never did find one). I yelled for her to cut the electricity- I got gas fires and electrical fires confused. Once the lights were out we could see the fire crawling up the wall behind the stove and I called 911.

We used a couple of minutes grabbing essentials, including the cat, who was scared and decided to take it out of my hide. Lynzie passed me the dog and put the cat in his carrier and grabbed her purse and we hear somebody banging on her door and a cop voice saying, "Open up, please!"

We were 0 for 2- the cop was banging on the door next to us, but as soon as we said fire, he completely shifted gears. He had us prop the door open so the smoke could ventilate and called a unit with a fire extinguisher up.

I went to check if the fire escapes had extinguishers, which they didn't. Luckily the cops who did have one showed up, so I turned around to go back to Lynzie and saw Crazy Yelling Lady grab her by the arm and try to get her to tell the person she was yelling at that there was a fire.

At this point, I snapped a little. Lynzie was already upset- her freaking apartment was on fire- and this lady was physically pushing her around. I was going to punch her fucking lights out.

As I'm power-walking down the hallway towards my imminent arrest, the cops come flying out of Lynzie's apartment yelling, "RUN!"

They push me and Lynzie and Crazy Lady- and when a guy poked his head out of his apartment they grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and pulled him along too.

I don't know if they said it or I just finally made the connection- gas + fire = explosions. Either way, I could see that fucking explosion in my head and I sure as hell wanted to outrun it.

We came busting out of the building right as the fire department showed up; everything after that was just calming down and sorting out what the hell happened.

The apartment never exploded; the gas caught fire quickly enough that it didn't pool, so no big explosion. There was a crack in the line leading to the stove. The guy who had poked his head out of his apartment was the guy who'd reported the domestic disturbance; he remembered saying, "Fight?" to the cop, who said, "No, FIRE!" before getting dragging out with us. The Crazy Yelling Lady was the fiancee of Lynzie's neighbor, who apparently was cheating on CYL. The building manager had been onsite for unrelated reasons, but made it clear that they were going to pay for the damage and put them up in another apartment in the building while their old one was getting fixed.

Best of all? Very little was damaged. Some of their kitchen stuff isn't usable, but they do have, renters insurance, so it should all be covered.

Well, no- Best of all, nobody was hurt. But second to that, stuff being safe is good too.

Fire, and Lightning. Which death is next?

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