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30746Our fire safety

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  • asncalert
    Feb 23, 2014
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      Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:14 pm on mhia@yahoogroups.com

      Posted by:  "Jack Fenn" jlaurencefenn

       

      Some of us in Montecito Heights with a north facing view of Mt. Washington saw a disaster Friday night. A fire up on Ave 44 quickly consumed a house and killed its occupant. Fire trucks were impeded by narrow streets and parked cars, and it took firemen an inordinate amount of time to reach the scene. Frank, who I understand was 89, sang opera to the radio, and walked frequently all the way down to a restaurant and back, was found in the rubble of the house.

       

      I didn't know Frank, but what befell him could happen to some of us, too. In the years we have lived here, the garage on one side of us burned, and the house on the other side was completely destroyed. Our house would have gone with it had the firemen not been able to drive down Pagoda Court and establish a defense. We had walnut-size embers and melted aluminum on our roof. The flames from next door were thwarted just in time.

       

      I raise this issue to remind my neighbors (and anyone who visits them) that our safety is communal, that where we park matters, that our convenience may mean our neighbors' loss -- or death.

       

      In the specific, the turning circle at Pagoda Place and Pagoda Court (between 1111 and 1101 Pagoda) needs to be kept clear; the hydrant in front of 1111 Pagoda should not be blocked; nor should the substandard circle be impeded by double parking. About two dozen of us live down Pagoda Court. Any one of us may need an ambulance. We may again need a fire truck. I watched the trucks last night jam up at the bottom of Avenue 44. Meanwhile, Frank was losing his life just up the hill. We should not need more than our God-given common sense to protect one another.

       

      I am sure my plea is applicable to many other parts of our community. As it is, our firemen have a formidable task, and they do it well. This tragedy on Mt. Washington is (another) wakeup call. Let's make sure our first responders can get to us when we need them.

       

      Thank you,

      Jack Fenn