Saturday, February 21, 2009
NONE OF YOUR BEEEZNESS!
There are some stories that just beg to be told, and then there are some that lose something in the translation. I'm hoping that this one is in the first category.
The other evening, my kids and I were in the family truckster, heading off to the first of two basketball practices of the evening. We turned right at the end of our street, but a disturbingly close cloud of black smoke caught my eye in the rear view mirror, and I decided that we should backtrack to investigate where the smoke was coming from...you know, the "if there's smoke there's fire" theory and all. Sure enough, as we crossed the major road separating us from the fire, we could see flames licking up over the 6 foot high wall in someone's backyard. Which was a stone's throw from two other backyards. I quickly dialed 911, and gave the emergency gal the crossroads where we sat. She asked if I had an exact address, which I did not, but said that I would drive around the corner to find. Which I did. Once in the front of the house with major heat issues, I parked and ran up to the front door, wanting to alert anyone inside of the fire in the backyard. On the front door hung the all-too-familiar lock box, prevalent around our neighborhoods, and characteristic of a bank-owned repo. house. My first thought was, "good, no one inside to get hurt". My second thought was, "oh crap, there's a fire in the abandoned house's backyard". Or maybe that was both my first and third thoughts, but I digress. I had turned toward the back fence to see if I could see what was going on, when I was met by a rather unfriendly gentleman walking out to greet (or not) me in the driveway. He asked what I was doing, and what I needed (HUH???). I asked what HE was doing, and was he aware that there was a fire burning quite out of control in the backyard. To which he replied yes, and that it was no biggie, he was just "burning some bees". Again, HUH??! I told him that I had called 911 when I saw flames over the back fence from about 1/4 of a mile away, and that the fire had already been reported when I called. He looked at me, rolled his eyes, and said he'd go ahead and stay and wait for the fire trucks to arrive.
Now, just to recap: 1. Fire in backyard of abandoned house. 2. Man who is not the owner burning bees in the backyard of aforementioned house. 3. No water available to put out the fire, as house has been abandoned. 4. Fire department on their way.
I'm thinking his decision to stay was a good one. Oh, and did I forget to mention the jug of curious-looking yellowish fluid that was sitting on the edge of the property by the back gate? Bee fire propellant, perhaps?
We then left and proceeded to our practices as previously scheduled, and could hear the sirens in the distance. I called the emergency number back, and reported our findings to the lady on the other end of my phone. When she heard the new information about the fire and it's host, she asked me to repeat it to her. "Yes, ma'am", I said. "Bees. He's burning bees." There was a muffling sound, and then laughing as she said she would definitely send an officer out to investigate the, er, Bee Burning situation.
Later that evening, I got a call back from the officer that had investigated. Apparently this man did live in the neighborhood and had taken it upon himself to "watch over" this abandoned property, and had, in fact, been burning some bees.
It just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside to know that this kind of neighborhood watch is in effect so close to my home and family! I just hope the officer talked some sense into this man, and that there won't be any spontaneous burning of rattlesnakes or any other uncontrolled burns in the near future. Holy cow.