Saturday, September 23, 2006
The fellow works in construction, came home from a 60-hour work week, drank himself silly and then fell asleep while smoking a cigarette.
I arrived home at 1 a.m., saw the smoke pouring out of the basement and called in an open window. "I'm on the toilet," he called back. He had just extinguished the fire with some water and then, well, I don't know what he was doing on the toilet.
Despite my neighbour's assurances that everything was "cool," I called the fire department. I felt about five as they arrived, lights flashing. Neat-o.
They dragged his smouldering mattress out into the backyard where it briefly ignited again. It was put out for good.
A next-door neighbour brought me a beer and we chatted with a couple of mustachioed firemen while everything was being checked out. (One looked very much like a certain Johnny-Cakes, Sopranos fans take note.)
The whole house was full of smoke, but none of our smoke alarms went off. Great.
Before I went to bed, I snuck out into the back yard one more time to snap this photo. My downstairs neighbour came out for a smoke while I was there and told me about how he spent a month with the Mujahadeen in the Khyber Pass in a previous life as a photographer. Did I want to come down and see the negatives? "Maybe another time," I told him.
Posted by J. Kelly at 9:34 pm