Da fire boss!

2018-07-21 Fire in Kamiah (3)

There I was, sound asleep taking a nice nap at my friend’s home and all of a sudden, Vernie yelled “FIRE”.  I popped up and threw on some clothes and ran out in my bare feet as Vernie yelled “Get out Sandy… NOW!”.

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Outside, across the street there was a grass fire and Marv and the neighbors were all spraying hoses on it.  This picture was taken long after we had our side of the fire out.  At the time I got there, there were raging flames coming up the hill and very close to the house you see on the left.  I came up to Marv and he gave me the hose so he could assist the neighbor in fighting a leg of it that was coming up from the back.

It was providential that Marv had just bought a 75 foot garden hose last week.  If not, his water system would have been of no use stopping that fire.

Marv and Vernie both called 911 several times but no one seemed to be coming.  Marv said that he was told by the 911 operator that the fire department was waiting on the power company for a decision on what to do while the power company was waiting on the fire department for a decision on what to do.

The power to the neighborhood went out briefly and all the water pressure instantly stopped!  Then a bit later, it came back on and we were able to continue to fight the fire.

There I was in shorts and barefoot with a pulled Achilles tendon hosing down the fire.  The hose water barely reached the front edge of the fire.  I managed to hold it off there.  It began to catch a tree that I could barely reach and as I was attempting to put it out, the hose kinked due to me pulling on it too far.  Marv fixed that and I managed to stop the fire at the base of the tree.

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Marv and Vernie McAnear

After about 20 minutes the fire martial arrived and went right to work, looking at the fire.

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Meanwhile the neighbors all together pretty much had the dangerous side under control.

Marv relieved me and I went to encourage all the neighbors… “Now this is a neighborhood watch! This is Idaho!  We don’t need no stinking fire department!”.  That got a chuckle.

Finally more services arrived and the firemen started getting geared up to fight the fire.

Someone with a tractor began building a fire break along the far side of the fire and it looked like the official services would be just cleaning up what was left.

What caused this?  The nearby power pole lost one of its lines due to being rotted out.  That was probably what knocked out the power as well.  As we watched, the wind picked up and the pole start teetering.  It was very scary but soon the wind settled down and it seemed stable for the time being.

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The pole that started the fire

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It was quite an event.  Thanks to some quick and calm neighbors, we got the fire under control and left the fire department little to do but clean up.

Thanks Marv!

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Here’s a video Marv took after most of the “fireworks” were over:

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About sanfords

Ex Microsoft Dev for 20 years. Currently retired at my ranch in Idaho near Kooskia. I like coaching Chess for kids so let me know if you are interested in those services.
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