Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Just cause it's snappin' and poppin', don't mean it's Rice Krispies....

Today we had some excitement at the campground that no one had anticipated. Wednesday's have been my day off from BG so I was working around the campground. In the morning, I raked pine needles off a bunch of the sites to give the new grass a chance to grow and not get smothered out by the heavy blanket of pine needles. After lunch we started to mow. Dave, the maintenance manager, started on the office side of the road and I went to the opposite side of the road to mow. Today was sunny, warm and there was a nice breeze. An hour into mowing, when I was directly across from the office, I look over and see Linda running down the field towards Dave.....waving her arms. I look towards the office and see Jenny on the phone out front. I was immediately concerned that there was a medical problem with Jenny's new grandson, who is only about a month old. The fact that Linda was running meant that there was something up....Linda doesn't "run" for just any little ole thing ! I continued to mow and as I come back around the field to face the office I see Linda carrying stuff out of the office. About this same time I hear the first siren and look to see the first firetruck and ambulance coming down our road. Now I know something is going on but I'm still not sure what. I didn't see any cars out front of the office since I thought perhaps someone was having a heart attack in the office. I drive over to the parking area directly across from the office, where Linda is and ask her what is going on. She has boxes of stuff there and two CPU's from the office. She said that she and Jenny heard snapping and popping in the office and when Linda went to investigate, she saw smoke coming out around the window frame. She immediately told Jenny to call 911 as there might be a fire. That is what Jenny was doing on the phone when I looked over and saw her on the phone. The fire company was really fast.....she had hardly hung up the phone and they started arriving.
They went straight to work, hooking up their fire hose and assessing the situation. Next thing I knew, a guy had an axe and was chopping at the wall, near the window. As soon as they had busted an opening in the wall, we could see the flames. The sudden availability of oxygen fueled the fire and it started to go up the wall. The firemen got right on it with their fire hose, dousing the flames and stopping the spread of flames. Everything was brought under control and within a short period of time the firemen had things taken care of and were packing up their things to leave.
Everyone was very thankful that the damage was minimal....some smoke and water damage inside the store and a hole in the wall on the outside. Within an hour, Linda and Jenny were moving the computers and paperwork back into the office. I went back to mowing and Dave was left to patch up the hole in the wall and help air out the office.
Preliminary findings were that the outlet was improperly wired.....someone had tapped into the inside receptacle by just pigtailing onto the existing wiring, without putting everything inside a junction box. Thanks to Linda and Jenny's quick response, they saved the office. If the fire had broken out when the office was closed at night, chances are that the whole place would have gone up in flames before anyone could have responded. Everyone was very lucky today !!

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