101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Monday, October 27

...for the large outside fire...


This one falls under the "You should have known better" category since you should always technically call 911 when you see a tee-pee on fire.

THE EMERGENCY
Some local, self described, "Free living" types were having a party and decided it would be nifty to build a tee-pee in the back yard. It appeared well constructed, was in a large flat area and measured about 10 feet across and almost 12 feet high where the posts came together. Plenty of room to keep some candles burning near the stacks of magazines and close to the 100% cotton sheets serving as as skin for the tee-pee. Neighbors have called advising our dispatchers that there is now a large fire where the tee-pee once stood. Our dispatchers advise us enroute, "Multiple 911 calls," which usually means its the real deal.

THE ACTION
The first engines on the scene see no smoke because of a common weather condition where we are. We're met at the front door by the previously mentioned "free living" folks who tell us their tee-pee burnt down. It was a little before 1 AM so I just shook my head and tried to imagine what he really meant to say. Then into the back yard and there it was in all its charred glory. Lightly smoking with only the poles marking the dead skeleton of once had been a happy place to burn candles un-attended. It reminded me of the charred christmas tree in the Christmas Vacation movie. They were a little confused when we grabbed their garden hose and nearby rake to break apart what was left and make sure the fire could not spread. Little jokes were made around the remains of the tee-pee, mainly about what the native people of North America would say if they were here to see this. We concluded they would smile, turn their backs and walk away, so we did the same.

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