Thursday, December 09, 2004

Last night there was a fire at Tulip! I don't mean a little kitchen fire that goes out when you throw baking soda on it. I mean the kind of thing that had the potential to cause serious damage.

The excitement began when a resident of the building came in and asked the waitress if she knew we had fire in the back of the restaurant. The waitress told me and I was like, huh? and ran out back. And sure enough, in the area behind the fence where we keep the recyclables, there be flames! More than a few! I'd say it was stretched over an area of about three square meters. Our little old dead pine tree had burned down to its flower pot, a whole bunch of empty cardboard boxes were a-smouldering and the flames were licking up the fence attached to the side of the building.

Naturally I pursued the only sane course of action -- I panicked. I panicked enough to get the cooks and the cleaners panicking, too, and soon enough we all had our own little fire brigade filling pots and pans with water and dousing the flames.

Nobody was hurt in the blaze and the damage was rather minimal in the end. (Danno, one corner of your fence has been charred to a crisp.) My only guess is that somebody in the building tossed a cigarette out the window and it set fire to the cardboard or perhaps the little old pine tree. I think if 10 more minutes had gone by, we might've had to have called the fire department, and even apart from the possibility of a major conflagration, I can only imagine that would have led to trouble. (Our mountain of soon-to-be-recycled cardboard, it occured to me after the fact, is probably a -- what's the term for it? -- oh yes, a "fire hazard.")

So all of this got me thinking: Fire's really an odd thing. Imagine what must have gone through the mind of the first caveman when he discovered fire. Now imagine what he must have thought when his first fire got out of control.


New Prague bloggers alert: In addition to the link above (my business partner Daniel Butler has been posting quite a bit recently), also check out Dog Eat Blog, written by Patrick Seguin, one of the organizers of the Alchemy Performance Series hosted by Tulip.


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