Saturday, March 21, 2009
Maybe We DID Start the Fire....?
Yesterday, my apartment building caught on fire.
I shit you not, my friends.
At about 2pm, I’m sitting quietly at my desk – happily enjoying a rerun of “Working Girl” on AMC and scratching my puppy, Jax’s, belly – when BAM! BAM! BAM!
I hear something loud and slick and rubbery fall outside my window.
At first, I thought it was construction outside. Or maybe a cab driver had blown his tire. Could be anything – this is New York, after all, and things get pretty noisy around here.
Only then, I heard the running. Footsteps outside my door – running up and down the stairwell. Then shouting. And then finally…
I smelled the smoke.
I finally looked outside, and there they were: THREE full-sized fire trucks, right outside my window! And debris falling down from above, bouncing off the walls and landing on the fire escape.
I felt like Chicken Little – the sky was falling!
I wasn’t sure what to do… I’d never been caught in a fire before… and so I did whatever seemed sensible at the time:
Then, after a brief freak-out, I grabbed Jax, my beloved computer, and a coat and threw open my apartment door…
Only to find the doorway – and the entire stairwell – covered in long black firemen’s hose!
Jax was immediately on guard. The hose was moving and pulsating with water, which made him bark and growl. He was just as freaked as I – now trapped inside our apartment by the huge hose. Finally, I crawled under a kink in the rubber and forced him to follow me. We ran down the flights of stairs, then finally out the door…
Where a huge crowd of on-lookers were staring, taking pictures… and some, even crying.
It was rainy and cold outside, and I felt lucky to be alive. That’s when I finally saw the fireman and cops.
I went up to one of them and demanded, “Why wasn’t the building evacuated?!”
“Um, I live on the second floor, and I only got out because I took it upon myself to get out.” I said. Then the Cop just sortof shrugged his shoulders and walked away.
Then, a fireman came up to me and asked him the same question – why didn’t anyone evacuate the building?
“Why should we?” he answered. “People self-evacuate.”
I almost laughed!
“What if I were a seven-year-old child? Or a dog? Do you think I would’ve known to self-evacuate?”
“Oh, “ he said. “That’s true.”
The NYFD has got to be the most inept in the world. And the NYPD isn’t much better.
Moral of my story: Don’t get caught in a fire. And whatever you do – don’t expect the fire department to save you!