The spate of fires all over Australia during the hot dry season affected us personally
By Goldie Chong
The sound of fire trucks whizzing past caused our car to stop for them to pass at the traffic lights junction. We were on our way home after lunch out. “Wonder where’s the fire?” I asked.
“Hope it’s not our house!” Tek joked. But sure enough it was.
Several fire trucks were parked outside our gate and firemen were inside our compound. “Don’t go inside the house – it may not be safe,” the firemen warned.
We went to the back. The fire had already been put out. We looked up at the upstairs back door – the wooden balcony was almost completely burnt through but leaving the metal stairway intact. The ground was strewn with wet burnt debris, smoke was in the air. We went upstairs from the front.
Nothing damaged inside except the back metal door could not be opened any more.
How did the fire start? I recalled, “My grandson and his friends were here playing music just now.” “Does your grandson smoke?” “No, they are all teenagers.” The firemen grunted, “Teenagers, ha!”
The friends did smoke. They had opened the back door to the balcony and the ash must have dropped onto the wooden floor.
I went to see our neighbor next door which was a café because someone there had alerted the fire department. A staff had gone to the rubbish bin and saw smoke and fire from our house. He jumped over the fence and used their hose to spray the conflagration while another staff called 000. If it was any later, the flames could have engulfed our house and spread to their café. I thanked them with a box of chocolates.
My grandson was most upset and apologetic even though he was not the smoker. We did not think a scolding but rather a prayer would teach him a better lesson. We brought closure to this event when the young men came and cleaned up the mess and apologized. We thank God for His protection which avoided a disaster. We were all thankful nobody was hurt and not much harm was done.