What started out as a normal morning turned chaotic quickly. I usually leave my house around 5:40 in the morning to go to work and today was no different, except for a small detour to the garbage bin. As I was walking toward the bin I noticed the third-floor balcony and outside storage closet in a unit across the parking lot fully engulfed in flames. With the early morning sleepiness it took a second for things to register in my brain. Fire in a fire place…normal. Fire burning the side of a building…not normal. Once I got past the initial disbelief I looked to see if anyone was around.
“Is anyone else seeing this?” I thought to myself. No one else was around so I did what any human being would do. I ran to the building and started banging on the outside door while getting my cellphone and calling 911 so the fire department could get there. After I hung up, I kept knocking and hitting the door buzzers in hopes that someone would hear me so I could get in and they could help me get people out. Finally someone came to the door just as the fire fighters arrived and everyone escaped without injury. The people who lived in the unit were not home when the fire started.
So what does my story have to do with guns? Let’s not think about it like that. This has more to do with being prepared and having the tools needed. I was able to use my cellphone to call 911 and my microstream flashlight to illuminate the door buzzer (very hard to see in the dark and there are 12 with numbers beside them).
While the other residents in the building were able to return to their units within the hour, this could have easily been a situation that could have displaced them for days. I’d bet nearly anything not a single one of them have a go bag in their car or something they could have quickly grabbed to hold them over for a day or two on their way out. Do you?
When I walked outside this morning I expected to throw the trash out then go to work. I never expected to walk upon a fire. When my neighbors went to sleep last night I doubt they expected some balding middle aged man to bang on their door and yell “your building is on fire, get out” at the top of his lungs. But this thing called life happens and it happens fast. We can’t control every situation but we can prepare for it.
For about 5-10 seconds I was actually scared that people were in the unit and were in trouble. That got my adrenaline pumping and my fine motor skills suffered. Dialing 911 was actually a bit of a challenge. I can’t imagine how much worse those fine motor skills would be if I ever had to pull my gun in a life threatening situation.