This is the conclusion to last week’s story about a mystery fire in my neighborhood. See the post below for part 1.
The fire crew finds no flames inside Ann’s house, no over-heated walls, no smoke. Nothing.
Finally, after poking the three-story patient with several sharp surgical instruments and taking her temperature multiple times, they slide the biggest truck in the fleet neatly into curb-side position, and crank the extension ladder up over the chimney to take a peek down the steel pipe.
“Could’a been a bird’s nest in there that fired up every time the heater kicked in,” the chief observes out loud.
I wince a little and ask if it had been right to call the department at all.
“Absolutely,” he replies.
And that was it.
Many times since that day I’ve looked out my picture window to try and catch a repeat performance of furnace gas transfigured by sun splash. It ought to look like a flag of flame up there atop Ann’s roof.
But every time: nothing more than white exhaust floating on the wind, maybe with a dash of pink, at most. Certainly not. . . “FIRE!”
* * *
The lesson: I acted on what I believed to be true. I had no proof, but I did have evidence that something was wrong at Ann’s house–and my observation was corroborated by my wife Sharon.
Foolproof? Infallible? Absolute certainty–is that what Sharon and I had?
No way. But we had enough to go on. And as it turned out, in this case we may have been wrong–I still don’t know.
For our atheist friends and acquaintances who wait around for proof before believing in anything, I’d fear for Ann’s life.
Still, we’ve got enough to go on–enough reason to pick up the phone and call the Fire Department.
Enough reason to believe.