To the Editor:
I would like to thank all of the West Tisbury first responders. Their professionalism, responsiveness, and care were a great help the other day.
After coming home from a long and hot day on Tuesday, I decided I would really like to take an outside shower. I realized that the shower was broken and I had been too busy this spring to repair it. I grabbed my tools and materials from my truck and started making the repair as quickly as I could. Being a plumber for 15 years, I was not at all hesitant about sweating pipes inside the exterior wall. I finished my repair, turned on the hot and cold water to the valve, and started to install the shower head.
That is when I noticed the smell of smoke coming from inside the wall. I immediately turned on the nearby hose and shoved it into the wall. Breathing a sigh of relief, I shut the hose off and started looking inside the house to see what kind of mess I had made. That is when I came to the horrible realization that the walls were getting hot to the touch. I pushed the screen out of the window, ran and grabbed my hammer, and threw the running garden hose through the window. When I made it inside, I started smashing all of the “hot walls” open and drenched each stud bay cavity with water. During this mad scramble, I had my cell phone clenched between my ear and shoulder talking to 911. I described the situation with panicked breath and the woman on the other end assured me that help would be on its way immediately.
Though my sense of time was surely distorted, it seemed like sheer minutes before the West Tisbury police showed up. They made sure I was the only one in the house, checked to see if I was hurt, and assured me that the firemen were on the way. In what seemed like seconds, the house was full of fireman doing their best to make sure the situation was well in hand. The street and driveway were crowded with trucks and personnel.
Though the fire was out when they got there, the firemen checked all the walls with a thermal camera, removed the sheetrock around the area to be sure the fire was out, cleared the smoke out with a giant exhaust fan, and sent me to get checked out by the EMTs in the ambulance.
After getting cleared by the EMTs, I found myself walking down my driveway, my heart rate slowing, and finding myself surrounded by many familiar faces. Neighbors, friends, dad of kids that go to school with mine, fellow contractors, and all the first responders.
Once the scene was clear and everyone could breath a little easier, the panic was replaced with laughter. If you think for one second I could get away with almost burning down my own house without getting my chops busted by this crew, you are sadly mistaken. And rightfully so.
Today, though I’m still dealing with the mess, I am very grateful to live in West Tisbury. And I am very grateful to everyone who showed up to give their time and abilities in an extremely professional and caring manner. Thanks guys, you’re the best!