Down the Docks

September 2, 2006

My Little Bit of Excitement

Filed under: Ealing, General — ealing @ 1:49 pm

Some stuff caught fire. I dialled 999. Strategic extinguishment solution providers arrived to do their job. News at ten.

Fire engine arrivesI was called out to do some emergency DJing at La Piragua last Saturday night. I got into bed at four, and noticed a slight burning smell while I tried to get to sleep. I thought nothing more about it, until I noticed popping noises coming from the car park. Oh, I realised, there’s a fire. I got up to look out the window, and sure enough, there it was.

Starting to put the fire outI picked up the mobile and dialled 999. I had a tone bordering on the apologetic, “… and I thought you might like to come and put it out.” It’s hard to summon any sense urgency for a fire that is not life threatening or even particularly dangerous to property.

The fire engineI noticed two things during my conversation with the Fire Brigade dispatcher. Firstly, there was a little trouble in establishing exactly where the fire was. I was mentally editing my postal address, since I didn’t actually want the firefighters to come up the stairs to my flat, but missed out the area, so we used postcodes to sort things out. Secondly, there was no attempt to keep an open line of communication to the dispatcher. I assumed that my number had been recorded, so they could have got back to me if need be, but I was surprised not to be told this.

In full flameThe big red engine turned up in the right place within about four minutes, so the dispatcher obviously had a better idea of where the fire was than I had thought. It took a minute or so with the hose to put the flames out, then more than twice as long to make sure it wouldn’t re-ignite.

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