Everything inside me said to quickly call 9-1-1; but, perhaps, I should call my husband’s cell phone first to ask if I was misreading the situation. Perhaps that smell is normal, under the circumstances. His phone rang loudly – on the end table next to me! Holy smoke! No, I bet it’s NOT normal at all!
An hour prior, our brand new gas grill went up in flames, the propane canister’s cap having not sealed properly. Running for our kitchen fire extinguisher, my husband Mark quickly doused the flames. Do you know where YOUR fire extinguisher is? Find it! And, has it been checked by the experts lately? Do it! With a sigh of relief, Mark felt confident in the scare being behind us and drove off to settle his nerves in the aisles of gadgets and new fire extinguishers at the hardware store. But all was not as it should have been.
Initially, I thought little of the scent of propane drifting through the family room window, as our toasted grill was standing just beyond. However, as I bent over to draw the window down, that aroma was joined by a demonic hissing sound coming from the propane tank inside the grill. Yes, 9-1-1, it is!
The fire trucks came screaming down the street with all they could muster. The responders filled four huge fire engines, several fire police vehicles, rescue squads, and a police cruiser, all to address my complaint of my grill hissing. Embarrassment overcame me as I stood, as ordered, on the front lawn with our dogs in tow. However, embarrassment was quickly overtaken by fear when traffic was ordered to a halt, curious neighborhood children gathered on the sidewalk, firefighters with respirators raced into my house to check dangerous levels of propane and others into the backyard. The dogs stood fixated on the huge hose suddenly snaking around the house. The potential existed for the entire back of the house to go up in a puff, and such an outcome was keeping my hands and legs shaking like ye olde school marm’s ruler. Those men and women raced into a potentially dangerous situation. But, in so doing, they were able to conquer the growing problem before the hissing propane ignited into an even greater event. After over an hour’s time, the firefighters, paramedics, captains, and officers were on the retreat, having neutralized the now charcoaled propane tank and grill, declaring the house safe to reenter. Bless them, each and every one.
Alpha Fire Company has been serving our area as a volunteer company since 1899 and Centre LifeLink since 1941. The volunteers and staff dedicate their time in endless training and then at incidents much greater than ours because they feel it is where they need to be. Rushing to our properties, they are willing to make our situation their first priority. Please, please, please do a fire and emergency safety drill at your own home very soon. And, join us in remembering the fire and rescue companies that serve us here in the Centre Region by being generous when they ask for your support this year. It only takes a moment to have a need …. and for you to help.
Read more articles from November's Welcome Home Newsletter HERE.