It was a normal morning. Thankfully, we had power. Checking a few emails, reading, getting ready to go teach. Suddenly, our power started to flicker and off it went. This is a normal occurrence in our part of the world. I thought nothing of it and continued on with the morning.
All of a sudden, Roommate 2 downstairs yelled, “We have fire!!! TURN EVERYTHING OFF!!!”
“What?” I thought. “Surely not…” I moseyed over to my space heater and turned it off along with a few other things I had on. I pulled on my coat and went downstairs. I have no idea why I didn’t seem to believe her at first.
One look outside at our smoking electrical box got me moving a bit faster.
Roommate 2 ran to her car to get a fire extinguisher while Roommate 1 ran upstairs to call our supervisor. I stood there, feeling pretty helpless. Roommate 2 opened the electrical box and that’s when we saw the flames. I’m laughing a bit on the inside at this point (our electrical box is outside, in a courtyard-type of thing so it didn’t feel like any real danger!). Roommate 2 takes the stance and then proclaims, “How do you use this thing?!!!” referring to the extinguisher.
My mind reeled as I mentally scanned every memory I have, realizing that none of them had to do with using a fire extinguisher. “Uhhh! I don’t know!!!!” I shouted, jumping up and down at this point.
With the might and dramatic flair fit for a movie, Roommate 2 popped off the pin and doused the fire. After the flames went out, we looked at each other and just laughed. She went next door and banged on the gate of our landlord. he eventually came out, looking quite tired, but his hair (of course) was gelled back and styled as if he’d been up for hours.
He looked at our poor electrical box and you could almost see his thoughts dawn on his face: “These girls… wow…” He said he’d fix it later on in the day. We went back inside to finish getting ready and go to work.
Did I mention that our landlord is one of my ESL students? He entered class with a little smirk that morning.
Thankful this fire extinguisher was close on hand!
The charred electrical box post-fire.
Just another day here in Central Asia!