A couple of months ago, on a day when my mom was babysitting my son for me (both of my parents are retired now), I called Mom to check in and let her know when I’d be in from work to pick him up. We chatted for a few minutes, and then she nonchalantly mentioned that the fire department had just left the house.
Apparently, she had been cleaning out the dogs’ pen and had failed to notice smoke billowing out of the chimney from the wood stove. Despite the temperature being around 70 degrees, she had started a fire in the stove that day because she had heard it was going to be cool that night. Although she was outside only ten feet from the chimney, she didn’t see the thick smoke. Evidently, a neighbor or passerby did see it and called the fire department. She was confused when they showed up, sirens blaring, and found built-up debris in the chimney.
My dad was eating lunch in a local restaurant with a neighbor at the time. When the neighbor’s daughter called her dad to tell him she thought my parents’ house was on fire, he jumped up and said “Billy, your house is on fire. Let’s go!” Dad, who likes to eat, told him to go ahead and he’d be along after he finished his lunch. When he did make it home to find the smoke cleared, he just remarked to the firemen that it was a damn shame the whole place didn’t burn down so they could collect the insurance money.
Incidentally, my son Bersain was playing computer games inside right beside the wood stove when the firemen came in to examine it. According to Mom, he never moved or took his eyes off of his game. Evidently, he’s become as nuts as the rest of the family.