Sorry I’m running late, but I have a burning excuse (no, it’s not that kind of burning)

"Are you on your way to a fire or something?!" YES, actually...
“Are you on your way to a fire or something?!” Well — YES, actually…!
Normally, this space would be reserved for The Box. Then again, I don’t normally get tapped out for a fire first thing in the morning; usually those calls come in the middle of the night when I have to pee, forcing me to hold my full bladder while spraying 125 lbs. of water pressure through a nozzle. And although I don’t have an excuse from my mother, I do have this video captured by our station captain who, although out with a knee injury, hobbled to the scene from his house down the street.

That, my friends, is dedication. And a lot of Demerol. He’s the one doing the narration while talking to a bystander. I love the pride in his voice. Or, perhaps once again, that’s the Demerol talking…

In either case, total elapsed time from tap-out to “knockdown” of the fire: 9 minutes and 27 seconds. Our three-man crew on engine 2, which was first on scene, was myself as driver/engineer, along with Chris on the nozzle and PJ on the hose. Within one minute we were joined by two additional engines, which provided hydrant hook-up, a secondary interior team and a safety team.

The best part of this story? Except for some smoke inhalation, no one was hurt. The woman who lived there got out safely and we all went home to our families. Except for our captain, Boa, who is still out wandering the streets…

Yes, I admit it — that’s some pride in my voice. And I’m not even on Demerol.

Although I do have to pee.

Does this mean there won’t be an edition of The Box this week?!!??

Well, yes — but only because we have a rare and exciting addition to The Door (of Shame, Blame and Brilliance) in our newsroom.

Look for it tomorrow morning!

Oh, and while you’re at it, please keep an eye out for our captain. He couldn’t have gotten far…

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

36 thoughts on “Sorry I’m running late, but I have a burning excuse (no, it’s not that kind of burning)”

    1. We actually had an old lady in a local retirement home who used to purposely burn popcorn in the microwave to get the fire department to come. They eventually started buying her bagged popcorn.

          1. Ok, well then she just REALLY liked popcorn, which I totally get, and she was inept at microwave cooking, which I can unfortunately sympathize with also.

  1. I’m going to refrain from the obvious softballs you’ve thrown with this one and just say: Well done and thank you, thank you, thank you. You fire boys are nuts, but I’m so glad you are there when it hits the fan 🙂

  2. Sometimes I swear… when no one is listening. Then again louder to get their in-attention. So anyway when we look for it tomorrow morning, should we gaze to the east and will you be riding Shadowfax ?

  3. Just saw Boa, on a sled, flying overhead. He was gifting the world with bottles of Demerol…. I love this special season.

    On a serious note because this was/is a serious matter, thanks for your service and writing. Both are appreciated.

      1. …you will thank me now…and hate me in the morning!
        (I say that to all the men…)
        BACKTO THE PJ…..

        1 bottle of EVERCLEAR…(my kryptonite) hehe
        3 cans of HAWAIIN know with the roly poly
        LOTS of fruit…fresh fruit…pineapple, cherries(in the bottle), (thats I use)…let that sh** soak….4+ hours…

        If too strong…add more hawaiin juice…sometimes you have to for the weak…OR haveanother bottle of everclear…

        AS FOR THE NEXT MORNING….have another bottle…you will need alcohol for the hangover…right? OR…a trashcan…OR…the door.


  4. you guys are good and glad everyone was safe. ps – i once put on full makeup when i had to call my local fire guys for a stove problem in the middle of the night. an old man and woman responded, kind of put my fire out quickly )

    1. Hahaha! Very cute.

      On the flip side, we used to have an old woman who lived in a retirement home (not a shoe) who used to purposely burn her popcorn in the microwave 2-3 times a week so we would show up. The home eventually started buying her bags of pre-cooked popcorn… 😉

  5. Nice story, but isn’t this your second excuse in two weeks? 🙂 (glad everyone was safe; firemen are very impressive with the danger involved in what they do)

No one is watching, I swear...

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