Fire !

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Established Member
20 Feb 2004
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In the eternally wet North
As the local recycling place is shut until further notice, I decided to burn some of the accumulating cardboard etc. Only a very small fire. And this is not going where you think it is :)

Went in the house to check a few things, came back outside and saw some smoke drifting over the adjacent field. Kind of thought ...mmmm...surprised it's still generating that much smoke. Thought nothing of it. Back inside. Back out again a few minutes later to see the field adjacent to us well ablaze. Big time. I thought 'Ooops' :oops:

Did my conscientious citizen bit and for the second time in my life dialled 999 and asked for Fire. Grabbed a shovel to try and blat out as much as I could and save the trees on the drive. I see another figure through the smoke. The figure disappears. Wonder if it was the neighbouring farmer and he had decided it wasn't worth trying to fight. Keep on blatting away. All the while, thinking 'Oh s**t oh s**t...did I really cause this ? But I can't have. It's too big too quickly."

Then through the gloom, said farmer appeared. He'd started it deliberately. We had words. Suggested that maybe he might like to alert his neighbours next time.

25 minutes later ...yup..note to not let house catch fire....the fire engine arrives. "Sorry lads...false alarm. He did it". Details exchanged. Wonder if he gets a bill. silly person.
He won't get a bill. He SHOULD but he won't. My other cousin (brother of the paramedic) is a Station Master in Newport, S.Wales (after 15 years on the appliances) and he's repeatedly said he WISHED, with great fervour, the service could bill people for false callouts, and the perpetrators of those that caused concerned citizens to make them.

"We'd all have a better pension for a start."

(This is not the same as the system for fining companies and landlords for an actual fire alarm system going off and generating a call out)
We used to have huge outdoor parties years ago, and always had a huge bonfire. We always had water and sand to hand and always informed the fire brigade (and the coastguard if on a beach) of the map reference of the fire and the time it would be lit so they didn't waste their time. They always turned up. I asked why one day and was told that although they knew there no to be any problem they got paid for the callouts. The local copper always came to investigate the noise and stayed for an hour or two to check ........... because he knew the draught Bass would be good. :D