Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fire Folly

     One evening last summer, as my husband was barbequing chicken breasts for our dinner, we smelled smoke—smoke coming from inside the house rather than from the barbeque sizzling on the deck outside. At first, we thought it might be coming from the light in the soffit over the kitchen sink. Our alarm increased as the smell of burning grew stronger, so my husband yanked the canister for the recessed light fixture out of the soffit, taking some of the sheetrock with it. There was no sign of either fire or smoke, but we decided to call the fire department. As soon as he hung up the phone, my husband noticed that he had laid the wooden cutting board on the front burner of the gas stove, which he had forgotten to turn off after melting butter for his lemon garlic baste. But it was too late to call off the fire truck. Two shiny red engines, an ambulance and police car came roaring up to the house with lights flashing and sirens shrieking our folly to the neighbors. Then, even though it was a false alarm, the firemen had to come into the house to investigate.

     I must admit that when the trucks arrived, my daughter and I, profoundly embarrassed, fled upstairs to hide, leaving my husband to face the humiliation alone; but when all of those strapping young firemen trooped into the house, we suffered an attack of conscience and came downstairs to apologize. After all, we had called them away from the first game of the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in the playoffs. I should have baked those obliging firefighters a pan of brownies and sent my unmarried daughter over to the firehouse to deliver them.

painting by Mike Savad


  1. This was too funny. Thom calls and talks to Tim all the time I don't believe he has ever mentioned this story before. Bet it was one for the books back at the fire station.

  2. I can imagine the scene and the embarrassment , but am so thankful they were promptly on their way because it could have been a true emergency.