Monday, September 10, 2007

Things They Don't Teach You in Seminary

There are some things they just don’t teach you in seminary. One of them is how to put out fires – real fires, not the figurative type (which they do try to teach you). This afternoon I was at the church for a meeting of the Canterbury Westwood Foundation Board. Right before the meeting started, I was on my way to my office to try calling a board member who was not there but whom I knew to be on campus. As I walked down the hall, I looked out the door at the end of the hall, which leads out into the parking lot. I saw that there at the end of the parking lot, our trash dumpster was in flames. Apparently, some painters who were doing work in the building put some trash in the dumpster. According to a passer-by, someone then walked by and tossed a cigarette in the dumpster, lighting the paint soaked papers on fire. I went into the work room and got the fire extinguisher and went out to try to put the fire out. I tried several times, but every time I thought the flames were out, the fire would come back. After exhausting the contents of the extinguisher, the painters got the hose out and did a bucket brigade carrying water to put on the fire. After a couple of minutes, the fire department showed up and used their equipment and water tanks to put the fire out for good (apparently someone in the neighborhood saw the flames and called them). All turned out well and we got it in time before the fire spread to the adjacent bushes, which could have been disastrous for both the church and the surrounding houses.

Just another quiet day at your local Episcopal parish. But I suppose I need to call the Dean at Seabury and have him revise the curriculum to include Firefighting 101 in the course offerings.


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