I’m standing at my front window taking notes watching a fire across the street. Not only is it terrifying, it’s incredibly entertaining. I know, what a thing to admit, but haven’t you heard, candor is the new black.

Four trucks have taken over the street, lights flashing, men running out of every door in full, Towering Inferno, regalia.

Hoses are now being hauled, along with an assembly of axes. This is a huge high-rise, unlike my building that resembles an Amish barn, small and square, so the threat of impending doom looms.

I’m wondering how serious it really is, because the cavalry comes, no matter what since, you just never know, the New York City Fire Department taking no chances.

How could they after all they’ve seen.

I call downstairs to Farouk, the doorman, asking what he knows. He’s from the Islands so his English over the intercom, let’s say, isn’t exactly crystal clear. I did hear, keeds, so that’s enough for me.

I throw on clothes to be outside in case children come out in their pajamas, my imagination running wild. I could bring them all into my apartment and make hot cocoa, well, if I had any that is. That’s the trouble with writers, we’re constantly penning a screenplay, without supplies.

I then think, CVS is open on the corner, I can go buy some, along with cookies, candy and cake, hey, these are special circumstances remember, but when I try, a fire captain holds out his hand and says, “Saari Maah-dam, the schreet’s schut.”

“Is everyone okay?’ I ask in my best tax payer’s voice, but trying to get info from him is like Lucy trying to get that Buckingham Palace guard to smile.

Captain Crank, I’ll call him since his charm is down several quarts, might never smile again, but to cut him some slack, God only knows the horrors he’s seen, as September 11th swoons across both our screens.

So now I’m back at my front door smelling smoke but seeing no flames, figuring that’s a good sign.

After 40 minutes that feels like 40 days and 40 nights, all the firefighters come out without any keeds. Turns out a woman on 12, in the back, had a grease fire.


Even though she apparently put it out, in a building that size, when one smoke detector goes off, they all do, hence, four firetrucks, 50 feet of hose, a collection of axes Lizzie Borden would have admired, and a thin girl across the way, who couldn’t sleep, who saw it all.    Unknown.jpeg



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in creative writing, Home, kids, New York City, violence and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to FIRE!

  1. Sorryless says:

    Thin Girl,

    To think, all these reminders on a daily basis. The nostalgia of grease fires being simple grease fires ceased shortly after the turn of the millennium.

    Which is why hot cocoa and Lizzie Borden are welcomed diversions. Well, the hot cocoa more so than Lizzie Borden.

    Loved every line.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kate Howell says:

    Well told! Nothing like a fire to get the neighbors going 🔥

    Hal Rubenstein from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fear and entertainment at your front door! I’m glad everyone was OK. I loved the bit about writers who pen a screenplay with no supplies. Classic Susannah!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. robprice59 says:

    We have morbid fascination for such events. Being roasted alive can’t be a pleasant way to depart this world: pray smoke inhalation gets you first. I recall a neighbour in Thringstone, who came home from the pub, put the chip pan on, then dozed off. At midnight, the whole village were out in their jammies, watching events unfold. Leicestershire’s police, ambulance and fire services were quick and efficient, as one expects from professionals. Everybody else, like headless chickens, causing chaos and generally getting in the way. What fun! Cue Georgia Brown: is that all there is to a fire?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, any displaced kids would have been happy to have you as their hostess. I can imagine you bundling them up in your blankets and sweaters.
    We used to live on a crowded lake. A neighbor’s car caught fire directly across from my six year old son’s bedroom window. His eight year old cousin (spending the night) and he couldn’t wait for it to explode. Didn’t happen. However it did suddenly start up with the horn blaring. Better than TV.
    Thank heavens your fire wasn’t serious. Too close for comfort.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. aFrankAngle says:

    Your ability to tell a witty tale from simple observations is quite impressive.


  7. Vasca says:

    I like to learn and you put such Interesting tidbits in like the one about Franklin and Eleanor.


  8. You’re like a human Red Cross with thoughts of blankets, cocoa, and cookies. Now I’m thinking of all my neighbors wondering who would be my human red cross.


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