Have you even heard a knock on your door and opened it, only to be greeted by a curtain of smoke and a stranger asking you if you know where a fire extinguisher is?
That’s what happened this afternoon. The lady was kind of freaking out, and I have to admit that I felt some definite twinges of panic as thoughts like “How long do I have to save every precious item in my apartment?” ricocheted through my brain. There was so much smoke that I could barely see two doors down the hall.
Luckily, I knew exactly where the fire extingusher was: in the hall right next to my door. The lady was so distressed she hadn’t seen it. So I grabbed the canister, broke the seal and pulled the pin. I went into her apartment (two units down the hall) and tried to prepare myself for the sight of fire licking the walls. Not seeing any flames, I cautiously ventured further into the apartment. The source of the smoke was her bedroom, inside her dresser. There was candle wax all over the burn area, and holes in the top and nearby drawers. After shooting this yellow powder into the holes, I grabbed a rag and gently pulled the drawers out, fully expecting to find the flames any minute now. The amount of smoke was unreal, and I was sure there was going to be fire. Lots of fire. I opened all the drawers and doused anything that looked burnt. Luckily, I never saw any flames because I was already way outside my comfort zone. Open flaming drawers would not have been any sort of picnic.
All is well at this point, except for the smoke damage to the lady’s apartment. It’s possible that I should’ve waited for the fire department, but that just didn’t seem to be a good idea at the time. They did show up, and made sure that the fire wasn’t sneaking around in the walls or anything. I’m just glad no one got hurt, myself included.
So remember, kids: candles are cool, but never leave a candle unattended. That means if you can’t see it, you don’t burn it. And if you don’t know where your fire extinguisher is, um, there’s no better time to find out than right now.
That’s right. Now. I’ll wait here while you go find it.