Well, a scary experience happened on Thursday when the ramshackle mill in which I work caught fire. We all managed to get out in time, thankfully. If we took one or two minutes more though we’d have been in trouble.It apparently started when a discarded cigarette butt was thrown down in the basement. Whose it was, we have no idea at the moment.
We were alerted to the fire at about 12:45. I’d just had my lunch which was an egg and bacon sandwich that I’d been looking forward to all day. Stuart, the new telesales bloke, came rushing upstairs saying that there was a fire and we had to get out. So we did. The smoke had just started coming through the door as I picked my coat up so I decided that this was getting serious and rushed out. Everyone else was making their way out as well at the time and as we jogged into the car park, we saw the smoke streaming out of the basement. By the time the last of us was out, the smoke was so thick you couldn’t see our hand in front of your face (to use a cliché – though it was true). The electrics failed just as we left the building.
While we were in the car park, after checking everyone was present and correct, the first fire engine came, which had been phoned by one of our warehouse staff – who decided to do that rather than alert us by phone, in person or otherwise. Nice one. He hang about for about 10 minutes then buggered off. You can draw your own conclusions if you like though I’m not going to start throwing accusations around on here as I’m not certain and never can be.
After some initial commotion where the firemen were asking how the fire started (we didn’t know), if there were any gas cylinders in the building (we didn’t know) and such like, they started getting the hoses connected and fighting the fire. 3 of 4 more engines had turned up by this point including one with one of those cherry picker things on top of it.
Smoke coming at us while in the car park.
In all, 12 or 13 fire engines were present at the height and around 50 firemen. The smoke which was drifting towards the supermarket car park where we were stood was choking at times, though the wind in general was blowing it all away from us.
It turned out that there were gas cylinders in the basement, where the fire started. They contained oxyacetylene – used for welding, i.e. heating things up to around 1000 degrees centigrade and is generally stored at around 2200psi. Sensibly, the supermarket and nearby houses were evacated and a 200 yard exclusion zone was put around the building which remained for 24 hours.
That whole side of the building is buggered. It burnt through all 3 floors.
By this time I’d decided to head off home as there was nothing I could do and waited to hear any news from my work colleagues.
A local BBC news report stated that the building was empty when the fire started. I would like to say that the report was complete bollocks as there were 6 people in the office and whoever it was who dropped the fag end.
The next day I went back to get my wages and hear any news. The fire brigade were still in attendance spraying cold water onto the volatile cylinders – which they had to do for 24 hours. The police still had the road closed off with policemen manning both ends. Two stupid women decided to take a short cut across the Lidl car park despite the attendance of police, fire services and both blue and red incident tape cordoning it off. One of the women was also pushing a pram with a young girl in it. What on earth goes through these people’s heads? When the police started telling them to turn back they simply ran so they could get across quicker. Eben the police weren’t prepared to go and stop them – which shows you quite how idiotic they were.
Anyway, today i’ve received some photos from one of my workmates of the damage done. My desk area is unaffected, except for the layer of soot sat over everything. The fire safety bloke reckons that all of the electrical equipment will be unusable and the soot gets into the workings of eveything. I’m off in on Monday so we can all salvage what we can and see what we can get done in relation to getting work back to some kind of normality.
The damage on the 2nd floor.
A thin layer of soot has settled on everything – even rooms that weren’t on fire.
My desk is in the far corner.
I’ll keep you posted.
Had the car MOT’d today. Cost about £250. Booooooooooooooooo.
Good result for United today, 4-0. I knew we’d tonk someone soon.
I won 2-1 after losing the first leg. Had 161 left in final one. Hit 137 to leave double 12 while he was one 200-odd. Finished on double 3 in the end. 3 wins out of 3. Good stuff.
My Result: 2-1 win
Team Result: 3-2 win
My total: 6 legs for, 1 against (3 wins, 0 losses)
Team total: 10 legs for, 5 against (3 wins, 0 losses)