I met the fire department the hard way…

So we had an electrical short in our backyard last night that caused a fairly impressive fire. Fortunately, our next-door neighbor spotted it, called the fire department and came running over to let us know. I was asleep and, since we’re keeping all the windows shut and the shades down because it’s still running in the nineties during the daytime, no one in our house had noticed.


Eight-foot sheet of flame and we had no idea.

Cue the fire department, who showed right up and took care of the fire.

Part of the night was flat-out frightening (who wants out-of-control flames two feet from their house?), part of it was gratitude-inspiring (we lost a lovely BBQ island, a fence, and our backyard looks like a charcoal pit), and part of it was actually funny. There were quite a few book-worthy moments, although, as my editor pointed out, no one would believe they were true.

  • When the fire department shows up and your husband is trying to douse the flames with your hose that is shaped like a cute little green watering can? The firemen laugh and then talk about the really, really big hoses they have. Who knew.
  • Firefighters really are a good-looking, funny bunch. I kind of assumed that only happened in books, but these guys were hotties. And one of them was a dead ringer for the guy on the cover of REBURN.
  • Men and power tools… axes. Chainsaws. Really, really big hoses. They’re happy to use them, particularly as they’re crunching over your Lilies of the Nile plants. And you’re going to have restrain your twelve year-old son and forty-two-year old husband from “volunteering” to “help out” with said tools.
  • Firefighters are surprisingly tidy. With all the hosing and chopping and chainsawing (because anything that was on fire has to be reduced to rubble to make sure there is no reburn… and I was apparently the first house call to know that term.. thank you book research!), all the debris is neatly stacked in my yard and none of it is in the pool. Although apparently at least two firefighters came really close to falling in and going for a midnight swim.
  • All of your pajama-clad neighbors will come outside to see what’s up. All of the guys will be wearing jeans and T-shirts. All of the women will be wearing pajamas. I am also apparently the only woman on my block who doesn’t invest in satin and who doesn’t own a bathrobe.
  • Which may explain why, when the firefighter banged on our door and told us to evacuate, he took one look at me and asked: “Ma’am, would you like to grab a shirt?” I’d been sound asleep and was wearing a polka-dot pajama bottoms, a white tank top, and glitter flip-flops. Fortunately, since I telecommute three days a week, I have absolutely no problem with the entire neighborhood seeing me in my pajamas. Next time there’s a fire, I’ll know the dress code.
  • At least one firefighter spent a considerable amount of time consoling my husband on losing his “sweet” BBQ set-up in the backyard. Then swapping notes on the BBQ island the firefighter wants to build.
  • All of your female neighbors will come up to you and ask if this is research for your next book. No. Not really. After all, when I’m writing paranormal romance, I don’t unleash werewolves in my front yard either.
  • When fireman hottie emerges from your backyard and proceeds to strip off his gear on the sidewalk in front of your house? Every woman on the block will come over to “commiserate” with you… and stare. And then ask about the books again (why yes… there ARE nekkid firefighters in my books, thank you for asking).

So this morning I have a whole new appreciation for the fire department!



~ by Anne Marsh on September 16, 2013.

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