Fire and Wine

Wednesday evening we made plans for our realtor, Zoee, to stop by and enjoy a celebratory glass of wine in the new house. We wanted to show her what it looked like with all of our stuff, and to thank her again for finding such a gem for us. Around 8:30 as Zoee and I were drinking wine and chatting on the couch, when Jim popped in from the office to ask if we smelled something funny.

At first I didn’t smell anything out of the ordinary, but as we explored the house, we all distinguished the unpleasant aroma of something electrical burning. Jim, Zoee and I followed the smell to the back of the house, where we were shocked to see smoke coming out of the wall behind the keypad of our newly installed alarm system. Not good.

I vaguely remember Jim and Zoee telling me to call the alarm company, but I was not messing around. This may not be a “fire,” per se, but there was smoke and that signals an emergency in my book. (Emergency is defined by Jessica White as something that she cannot fix herself and would hurt herself becoming involved in; something tax dollars should fund e.g. police, fire, etc). I launched into safety mode and darted off to call 911 with one hand while grabbing my fire extinguisher in the other.

Within minutes a ladder truck arrived with lights on, but thankfully no sirens. Three firefighters walked in, and while I recognize that they are required to wear a lot of equipment, these folks were enormous to begin with. Not joking, they were giant people. They dwarfed Jim’s six foot tall frame made me feel like a child.

They trekked to the scene of the crime and as soon as they were out of sight, two more entered through the front door, one carrying a five foot long axe. If that man thought he was going to chop down a wall in my new house he had another thing coming. I had visions of throwing myself in front of his axe to stop the destruction in its path. My second thought was to try to control the hysterical laughter trying to escape me. My life is random, but this was ranking high on the strange adventure list.

It only took a few minutes for the emergency personnel to determine that the problem was with the alarm, and we’d be safe as long as we didn’t plug it back in. Throughout the whole process, I was on my cell phone arguing with the alarm company, and Jim and Zoee calmly continued to drink their wine. As the gracious team of firefighters made their way out of the house, one of them commented that they had initially thought they walked into the wrong house; that generally, people are outside waiting for them and hysterical, but we were just sitting around drinking wine. Life is short, why not enjoy the chaos.

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