Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Back Bay of Boston

A wind-whipped day in the Back Bay of Boston
Gusts approaching 40 miles-per-hour
Heavy smoke obscuring the view of the street
A cloak of black hiding all but a Tower

A fire had begun in the basement of a brownstone
Located at two-ninety-eight Beacon Street
As apparatus maneuvered to the front of the building
Remaining residents began their retreat

While first-in Jakes searched the building for victims
Others headed down toward the basement
They need to quickly put water on the seat of the fire
Concentrating on their line placement

There’s nothing more important than containing the flames
Before it can blossom to the stairs
To reach the fire entails descending a red-hot chimney
The heat burning your neck hairs

Crossing the Gates of Hades is the only true comparison
To which you can relate this task
Lost in the darkness despite all this fire and heat
Peering for a glow through your mask

A blaze in a large apartment building requires more
Than a single Ladder and Engine
Nine Alarms are transmitted to call additional help
To contain any horizontal extension

Any firefighter who has made that trip into Hell
Will say you just have to push through
For once on the bottom there’s at least a little relief
Unless the fire gets behind you

With the wind whipping through the entire building
The flames can play hide and seek
One minute they’re located right in front of your eyes
And the next behind you they sneak

The boys on the Engine had battled to the basement
And thought they had an escape
But the gusts from the wind played its deadly hand
And the seeds of disaster took shape

At first it was a Mayday that seemed fairly common
At least as these things go
But it was quickly apparent their exit was blocked
And the flames were beginning to grow

Things can turn swiftly at the scene of a fire
From good to bad to worse
For this very reason we are continually drilling
Every contingency is rehearsed

When these firefighters had first entered the building
It seemed a job like many before
But the scene had transformed from calm to utter chaos
By the time they were carried out the door

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