Saved by the Sprinkler

Posted: April 3, 2013 in True to Life

I’m not really sure why I did it, but at 17 years-old I did a lot of things that today I’m not really sure why I did. Teenage rebellion…? Anger issues…? Simple stupidity…?

Hey…who am I trying to fool?
It was all of it…and then everything else.

Setting the Garage on Fire (accidentally)

Boredom can Lead to Trouble

My grandma Peters got me this bad-ass vest coat. It was blue, bulky and had pockets everywhere. It being a sleeveless coat made it that much cooler.
I sported the shit out of it. I even wore it in the house.

It was starting to get cold out, perfect weather for my vest. I was bored and wanted to do something outside; I wanted to do something outside while wearing my vest coat. I decided to go next door and see what my friend Tyrone D was doing.

He answered the door so I asked if he wanted to come by and hang out in the garage. He agreed and said he’d be by in 10 minutes.

The Infamous Eaton Street Garage

The Eaton Street Garage

The Eaton Street Garage

I’ve thrown parties, had BBQ’s, built weapons, even held a “during school party” in that garage on Eaton Street.

I loved hanging out in that garage on Eaton Street, a lot of people did. So the last thing you think I want to do is burn it down…right?

Well, I nearly did – completely on accident, of course.

Here’s how it went down:

Tyrone was taking his sweet ass time getting over to the garage so I figured I’d play a joke on him.

  • I grabbed a pair of handcuffs from the house and brought them into the garage and secured them near the garage door
  • filled a metal pail a quarter of the way with gasoline and placed it in the center of the garage
  • a pack of matches from Lauer’s Pub

The plan was that I just wanted to scare the shit out of Tyrone, so when he finally came into the garage I managed to get him handcuffed to the garage door.

Don’t ask me how I did it – I just did it.
Wearing my bad-ass, blue vest coat.

Now I’m going to act like that I’m completely out-of-my-mind.

I first told him that my dad gave me permission to burn the garage down because we were going to build another one, and that’s what the pail of gas was for.

Then I told him that I was going to burn him alive and say that it was an accident.

Tyrone doubted me. He said that there’d be no way my father would allow me to burn the garage down.  Besides, he pointed out that there were still items of value in the garage.

I looked around and realized that he called my bluff.

Damn it.

Hold on…I got this. I’m gonna do something that will really freak him out.

I looked at Tyrone and smiled, then I lit a match. “You’re right,” I said laughing a little to myself, “you’re right.”

Tyrone’s eyes got wide. “What’cha going to do?”

I gave him a serious face.

“I’m gonna burn this mother down anyway!”

I dropped the match.

Tyrone screamed, “Nooo!!

*PAUSE*
Now I meant to miss the pail…but I didn’t.
This is what pictured in my brain when that pail of gasoline went up in flames.

This is what pictured in my head when that pail of gasoline went up in flames

All I remember was Tyrone screaming when this tower of flame came shooting straight up.

It startled me so bad that I stepped back, but when I did, I kicked the pail over.

Now there was a pool of fiery gasoline in the center of the garage.

I freaked out and took off out of there, and even shut the garage door behind me.

I began to run toward the house for whatever reason, but then I heard Tyrone.

“Jimmy!”

Oh my God!  I forgot about Tyrone!

I ran back to the garage and opened the door.  There was smoke and fire everywhere.  I saw Tyrone in the back of garage, he was sitting on the ground with his one arm hanging in the air handcuffed to the big garage door.  He was trying to stay as low as he could to the ground to avoid the smoke. Just like we were taught in school.

Right on, Tyrone!

Anyway, I still had the handcuff key in the pocket of my bad-ass, blue vest coat. So I took it out and held on tight to it.  I then ran and jumped through the flames to get to Tyrone.

When I unhandcuffed Tyrone, he quickly bolted out of there, causing me to drop the handcuffs and the key.  He also ran through the fire, kicking the pail and causing the fire to spread even more.

By the time I was able to pick up the handcuffs and the key, the fire had spread mostly over  the entire garage floor.  I hesitated.

I had to get out of there.

Things were getting out of hand; things were getting out of control.
I was getting scared.
And that ain’t good.

Finally I gathered enough nerve to just run through the fire.  I ran out the garage door and found that Tyrone was nowhere in sight.

I quickly grabbed the garden hose that still had the sprinkler attached.  I ran back towards the garage, at the same time trying to remove the sprinkler.
And I’d be a son-of-a-bitch, if I couldn’t take off that damn sprinkler.

So instead of messing with it, I just threw the whole the thing in there – hose and all!

Guess what?
Bad idea!

The water started pushing the fire towards the back of the garage, right up against the big garage door, right where I handcuffed Tyrone.  The garage door was about to catch fire.

I had an idea.

Then I got an idea!

Then I got an idea!

I thought if I was quick enough, I’d be able to run into the house and grab the key to the big garage door.  I knew right where it was it, I figured it’ll take me 5 seconds.

After that, I ran and unlocked the big garage door and let the water push the gas and fire out into the alley.

When I lifted the garage door, I ran back around and pulled the hose in.  By then, the sprinkler had melted and even the hose got damaged.

I did the best I could by spraying the gas out of the garage and into the alley.  Luckily, the fire started to die down by itself.

Everything was under control.  Miraculously, there was hardly any sign there was a fire in the garage (besides the smell, but that could be aired out in an hour).

Just as I stomped out the last little flame, a Hammond police car pulled up rather suddenly. The officer who was driving, looked at me, shook his head and then drove away.

He knew.

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