Where there’s smoke, there’s fire engines

My dear wife Karen looked out the living room window of the Little Bitty in the Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood early this Sunday evening and spotted thick, black smoke billowing over the end of our block.

I heard her uh-oh and looked out past the empty lot, past the neighbor’s house, and saw the trouble myself. I dialed 911 right away. The woman who answered on the first ring and asked me what’s-what told me responders were on the way.

Troubling sight at the end of our block this evening.

Troubling sight at the end of our block this evening.

I grabbed my iPhone 6 and walked briskly down toward the smoke. I spotted Good Neighbor Tim and another neighbor ahead of me.
It still looked thick, and I kept going.

Across the big road.

Across the big road.

When I got to the end of our street, I saw it was past the auto repair shop across the way. Indeed, I could tell it was across the main road, by the train tracks. A police car was blocking access to vehicles. Professionals were doing their thing.

Situation secured.

Situation secured.

Indeed, the black smoke already had turned to white. It smelled some, still. I wondered if I’d end up smelling like a walk on a late autumn night when everybody had their fireplaces going.

Fire engine and other emergency vehicles where they should be.

Fire engines and other emergency vehicles where they should be.

Sure, it was still smoky to go with the scent. But things looked well under control. The Lookie-Lou’s who’d pressed as close as they were allowed — me, too — could start heading home.

Nothing more to see here, folks.

Nothing more to see here, folks.

The fire in Lyncourt seemed to be out. I could walk two blocks back to the Little Bitty in Eastwood. And resume watching the NASCAR race with my dear wife Karen and hope nobody crashed hard enough to cause their car to go up in smoke. I’d seen enough for the day, for real.

Have you seen a fire in your neighborhood lately? Have you had to call 911 for any reason, and was their response fast? Would you walk as close as you could get or walk the other way, and why?

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43 thoughts on “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire engines

  1. It’s always troublesome to see a fire in your neighbourhood Mark. Glad the professionals had it covered. Good shots Mark! Have you heard if anyone was hurt? Stay safe my friend. ❤
    Diana xo

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  2. There’s a lot of brush fires here with all the dry heat. There was some in the mountains not too long ago that looked a lot closer than it was. Pretty scary. Did you find out what was burning? I’m glad no one was hurt.

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  3. That’s always scary Mark, when your local area has a fire or explosion and you have friends and neighbors who could have been hurt. Where I rent there are a series of buildings on the block that are owned and managed by the same people. There are about 8 units in each building and quite a few students and transitory people. The buildings have been recently renovated but are quite old – over 100 years. The fire alarm systems work – too well, we get quite a few false alarms. I was waiting out front a few weeks ago for my ride to the hospital when the manager stuck his head out of the adjacent building and Hollered: “Call 911, there is a fire!” he then disappeared back inside. I pulled out my cell phone and called 911 – my ride came before the fire engines. When i returned that night the building was still intact with no apparent damage. All OK but nonetheless scary.

    Fire is something we all have to be careful of.

    Cool post Mark.

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  4. Our neighbor had an unfortunate chiminea incident last fall, the firemen were speedy and all was well within minutes.
    I’ve never had to call here *knock wood* but I like knowing they’re only minutes away.
    I did call once when we lived in our first apartment — I should make that a post. And that time, they were also expedient.
    My experience in calling MP’s for lost babies, aggressive stray dogs, and robberies in progress were not handled in a timely manner.

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    • Hmm. Chiminea incident. Sounds colorful. But could be awful. Phew. That’s sad and bad that the MPs were not as helpful as civilian First Responders in your instances, Joey. I do want to read your apartmet post.

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  5. Actually, yes. A car burst into flames right in front of my office this week. Right in front of our door. The fire department just let it burn. When I left work, there was a pile of ashes in the street.

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    • Really?! Oh, Wormy, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, that’s so ridiculous and awful all in one. Why would they let it burn to ashes? How could it burn to ashes? Did it deserve to burn to ashes? Will you get a good case to try because it burned to ashes?

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    • The crowd stayed back. I didn’t see any problem children, Aud. I was happy about that. All it takes is one to make the job harder than it should be, I guess. Good for your Fire Chief Brother, as I’ve voiced at your place, for protecting his community! Thank you, sir.

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  6. Out here in the country, you never know what might be ablaze when you see lots of smoke. Often it turns out to be an intentional fire – set to remove huge stands of brush, for instance. A few summers ago the bad wildfires in NC blew smoke clear up into our part of VA which was really rather unbelievable. We have a burn pile here and lighting it appeals to the pyromaniac within both of us. But we are very careful, believe me. Fire is nothing to fool with.

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  7. Hoping no one was hurt! Fire is always a horrible thing. Being dry out here in AZ… out in the desert landscapes fires start. I saw the fire that destroyed a lot of one area before, during and after a fire. It is always so sad!

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  8. I like how you are right on the spot, then while you included going back to watch the television Nascar races, you also hoped you had seen enough smoke. I love how you tell your stories, Mark. Full of energy and interesting facts, along with a good plot line!

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  9. I don’t think I’ve ever been close enough to a fire to actually smell it? Lucky, I guess? We get tornados here in Kansas. I will say I will run to the basement when sirens go off and my husband goes outside and looks for it. Grrrrr…makes me so mad!!

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    • I’d be down in the basement with you, Julie. No chasing tornadoes for me, thank you. Grrrrr, indeed. The fire yesterday really was smoky. You are lucky to stay away from anything such as that.

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  10. Last week we were caught in a huge traffic jam (nothing new there) and heard some sirens, and when we got close we could see people watching from the other side of the road. What were they looking at? A small car had turned upside down, balancing on its top like a turtle. There was a fire truck, at least two ambulances, a wrecker, and a police car. They did take someone to the hospital, but there has been nothing in the paper or on the news about it, and I don’t think there were serious injuries. In this situation the best thing to do was stay out of the way. The rescue van and other vehicles were still arriving when we came on the scene. They did not need any help from the by-standers.
    Back in the day when I was a newspaper reporter I would have been all over that incident. My late husband was fire chief here in town, and I am still drawn to fire trucks. 🙂

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    • Hi Gradmama! You are spot on about what was the best action on your highway trip.

      By the way, I am totally sure that I grabbed my phone camera and ran out toward the smoke here because, equal parts, blogger now and newspaper man then.

      So, in your reporter days, your late husband was the fire chief! I see that as a relationship knee-deep in “off the record” and “no comment.” 🙂

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      • ha! good call…it was a legit relationship though. we met at the fire station. I know what you mean about going out like that…I still want to call the paper when I see something happen.

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