Yesterday started out being a normal day. Leave for work at 6:05, stop by the gas station to fill up, get to work at 6:45, and started slamming roof at 7:00. The home owner came out and talked to us (Zack, Terry, Joe, Chris, and me – remember those names, ’cause they’re important) for a bit before heading to work. By 7:30, were were making good progress with the roof and were very confident that we could have most, if not all, of the roof wrapped that day.
9:15. Zack was on the ground cutting metal for the roof, and the rest of us were on the roof doing our various jobs when a vent turbine went ballistic – without warning or reason it went from a complete standstill to spinning ultra fast to popping completely off the roof and flying to the ground. Definitely not normal. Chris was closest to where the vent had been, so he walked over to see what might have caused the problem – he was greeted by the smell of smoke, and the sound of a fire alarm.
When Chris said “fire alarm”, Zack looked through the front door of the house. Fire. He didn’t waste a second in ordering us to grab the power tools and get off the roof. He then called the fire department.
I grabbed as much as I could and scurried down. By then, he was off the phone and shouting orders. “Get a hammer or pry bar and break in a window or something! We need to get in there and see if we can’t put out the fire!” I ran to the front door and tried the handle – locked. I back up one step, then kicked as hard as I could. Wood splintered, and the door flew open. Zack charged in with the garden hose, with me right behind him.
But then we saw something that nobody wants to see in a house fire – an open gas line with flames shooting out of it. “Gas! Get out. Nobody in there until we can get that shut off.” We retreated, then worked our way around the house, looking for the gas shut-off. It was in the back of the house. As soon as I closed the line, the gas fire pulled back into the wall, and went out.
Back around front, as soon as the gas was off, Terry, Joe, and Chris were storming into the house with the hose. So far only the couch, stairs, and a closet were on fire, but the smoke was so thick that it was hard to breath and see in the house. We took turns at the hose, each person squirting the fire until he couldn’t stand the smoke anymore.
After 10 minutes or so we had all the flames put out, and the fire trucks rolled up. It was time for us to get out off there way and let them do their thing – our part of the job was done.
I officially have a job! And one that could very well take me into my forties or older if I wanted it to, at that. This morning I started working for the “Hungarian Handyman” – a local home remodeler/fencer/barn builder/handyman named Fedi Davidovics.