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This is a question Fire!

We were all in my aunt's kitchen at the back of her huge rambling Victorian house. I was only small and had wandered off to go to the loo, but given up after finding the hall full of smoke. "That was quick," my mum said after a few minutes. "Yes - it's all smoky," I replied.

I've never seen adults move so fast.

So, like my cousin who'd managed to set fire to the roof, tell us your fire stories.

(, Thu 3 Nov 2005, 9:11)
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Mango Juice
Sorry this is a long story! :)

Among my group of friends we have a long running tradition of birthday road-trips. This particular fire related incident took place on the return from Cornwall summer this year.

It was about 11pm, 5 occupants relaxing in the comfort of my friends new (he had been talking about it all weekend) Vauxhall Omega. Everything smooth, everything safe, bombing up the M5 on our way back to the fine city of Oxford.

I must have drifted off slightly as I woke to the sound of my friend James (the driver) muttering profanities under his breath. I asked what the problem was and he indicated towards the rear-view mirror. I looked and to my horror observed what can only be described as a total whiteout behind us! The nice tidy Omega was chucking out so much smoke it had obscured about 2/3rds of the motorway and cars where rapidly pulling back to avoid the smokescreen!

A mild sense of panic ensued and James hit the anchors pulling rapidly over to the hard shoulder. By this time everyone was awake and wondering what the fuck was going on. I (doing what mechanics do best) popped the catch and ran round the front of the car to “inspect” the damage. Lifting the bonnet was like a scene from Backdraft, 3ft flames leapt from the engine causing me to jump back flailing my arms surprise!

From my point of the view what happened next was side-splittingly funny, all 4 doors of the car sprung open in unison and in a blur of movement I was able to make out the shapes of my four friends as they legged it full pelt away from the car and down the hard shoulder. I followed, catching up and forming a small huddle about 100 yards from the inferno. Everyone was too shocked to talk… then it seemed that sense began to creep back into our instinct overridden brains….

“My phone!” one friend cried… “My bag!” said another… “My Camera!” I declared! We exchanged glances and knew what we had to do, we ran back rescue our possessions (you would do the same!!!)! I was first and when grabbing my bag noticed a 2lt bottle of water we had on the back seat. I decided since I was here I might as well try and put out the fire. I ran round to the front of the car spraying the icy Evian over the inferno with reckless abandon… the water had no effect, the fire raged on. Looking perplexed and panicked I decided smothering would be the key and went looking for something I could use for this purpose.

At this moment I hear a PISSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH noise and turn to see my friend Mike standing triumphantly, wide legged and grinning, pouring the contains of a 1lt bottle of CO-OP brand Orange and Mango Juice over the rapidly diminishing flames. To my utter disbelieve the fire was almost out but licks of flames could still be witnessed. Mike strolled casually round to the boot of the car, produced yet another carton of Orange and Mango juice (still grinning madly) and proceeded to douse the hissing engine, extinguishing the last of the fire.

We exchanged looks, paused, then fell about laughing. Every one of my friends (with the exception of the driver\owner) was in now in hysterics, clutching our stomachs in pain from laughing so hard.

Ironically at the precise moment the laughter was starting to subside an AA van, emergency lights flashing, sped down the hard shoulder towards us. We begin to giggle. The AA driver emerged, fire extinguisher in hand and with the war cry “Stand Back Lads!!” proceeded to coat the entire vehicle with a thick layer of white foam. Giggles became chuckles and before we knew it we where laughing again, mostly at the horrified look on James’ face as the guy heroically splattered his car with the foam.

You would think by this point the event was over… oh no! The next vehicle to arrive on the scene was a full-blown fire engine!!! The AA man ran over and explained that he had taken care of business with this extinguisher but not wishing to be outdone and firemen insisted they must make the car “safe”. This basically meant they had to wash it for us… with the fire hose!

We watched with joy as they thoroughly hosed down the engine-bay then the rest of the car whilst making comments like “you missed a bit mate”, indecently the firemen did not find this in the least bit amusing.

The AA man wished us good luck in getting home until I proudly sported my AA membership, we where loaded onto the back of the truck and with barley 20min lost we continued on our way to merry Oxford. The AA guy even let us crack open a bottle of wine in his truck to celebrate our victory over the fire!

(, Thu 3 Nov 2005, 9:20, Reply)

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