When I went to my bank last week, there was a commotion at the car wash next door. A number of trucks were parked haphazardly around the building and a couple of fire trucks were along side. The folks at the bank confirmed there had been a fire. Apparently, someone had carelessly flung a cigarette.

It seems a bit ironic that a business that uses mass quantities of water would fall victim to fire, but that’s what happened.

The good news is that the fire department is across the street. The bad news is that it is a volunteer fire department. That means that although the equipment was nearby, the people to operate it weren’t. As I understand, when the alarm sounds, the volunteers amass at the station until enough have arrived to operate a truck and then they take off. The rest of the volunteers converge at the fire, hence the random positioning of trucks.

The fire damage was obvious, with blackened doors and an open roof, but the majority of the building was standing and intact. Even so, the fire department had encircled the building with yellow “caution” tape, thereby shutting down the business.

This week, it has re-opened.

I recall that when I bought my house and insured it, my agent explained that my rate was in the highest category because I was served by a volunteer fire department. Statistically this results in slower response times and greater damage. I somewhat sarcastically remarked that if my house caught on fire, the insurance company must assume it would be a complete loss. My agent cautiously concurred.

Fortunately, based on what I witnessed at the car wash, that is not necessarily the case.  Thank you volunteer fire fighters!

What do you think? Please leave a comment!