Tuesday, April 24, 2007

fire house

My mom calls houses in Canada matchstick houses. It could be a mansion but it would still be a matchstick house. Frames that are built out of wood because it's the cheapest & most economical method as Canada's forests are brimming with lumber to serve just this purpose. Mom says she can't believe we paid so much for a house that's built out of wood. We came from a land where houses were built out of cement, just like in Bermuda. Looking at a Canadian home with it's brick facade you wouldn't know that what lies beneath is drywall, fiberglass insulation & wood frames. Canadian buildings, schools & offices, however, are different. They're built like any other, out of cement, with steel frames. I'm sure this situation is the same across Europe, northern parts of America or anywhere with sub zero temperatures.

So, ever seen a house on fire? No, TV does not count. About four years ago, on the coldest day that winter had yet to see, our Toronto neighbours' house caught on fire. Now these are town homes. Very tricky situation. It took firefighters a while to hook up the hose to the hydrant & start dousing the flames & that was because the temperature was about -20 deg C. The water that trickled off the house, froze on the ground before it got a chance to get to drain off. A couple of public buses were brought in for those evacuees to get in & stay warm. Firefighters were racing against time to save the one raging house but more importantly to douse out the flames before it spread to the attached town homes on either side. On this cold night, I was mesmerized standing out there in my pajamas. It was freezing & I couldn't move. It was amazing how quickly that fire took hold, spread & blazed, devouring that one house. Those flames were raring to go. In the end all that remained was the brick facade & the frame attached to either side of the town house. Everything inside was destroyed.

I just read a blog comment that made me realize that except for in town, there are no fire hydrants in Bermuda. Which means during the unfortunate incident of a fire at your home, the fire department relies on your neighbours' tank water to douse out the flames. Should this worry you? The time it takes the firefighters to hook up their hoses to the neighbours tank to the time the flames are given a good watering. Probably not, as Bermuda houses are built out of cement. Although, it would be good to have content insurance if one's renting. One had also better be in good standing with their neighbours if one expects them to say yes to the use of their tank water in fiery situations such as these. But then again, they're not really going to say no, are they?


rcon said...

"there are no fire hydrants in Bermuda" -- that is too bad..

~ Ms. Cute Pants ~ said...

Well...One less thing for dogs to pee on, eh??