So earlier this evening, this olelongrooffan needed to replenish my Hurricane Supplies and headed the block and a half to my favorite local liquor store, by the Letters.
As I was returning from that purveyor of all things needed to allow the "Party To Begin At 905", I passed behind the local Family Dollar Store and spotted a clump of palm trees and palmettos on fire. And like the dumb*ss this olelongrooffan is, I had neglected to bring either my phone or my camera on this 45 second drive each way.
Well Counters, I floored the accelerator on the Indian and got the block to the Taj Mahal covered rather quickly. I promptly called 9-11 while looking around for newly recharged batteries for my elcheapo 28 dollar ebay purchased image taking device.
I was successful on both counts and returned to that former oasis of all things representing tropical Florida fauna. And as if to reinforce the fact that we have had no rain for 28 days to we local yokels, Mother Nature had allowed this fire to get to this stage.
That white fence seen in the above image is vinyl and surrounds a neighboring condominium. That tall building in the background is a beachfront condo while the building in the foreground is the back of the local Family Dollar store. The Taj Mahal is about 200 yards behind me as I was taking this image. The center power pole in this image is located in the parking lot of my destination this evening.
Now Counters, take a look and this short video and see if you see what this olelongrooffan saw around 5:30 pm on my baby sister Joan's birthday.
Hey jeepjunkie! This is what you miss when you skip Happy Hour at the Taj Mahal!!
In the following image, that Beach Patrol truck is parked on the street in about the same location as this olelongrooffan was when I spotted the initial stages of this blaze.
Now Counters, I have this to say about that. This stretch of Northshore Drive in Ormond Beach, Florida can often be driven without encountering any other means of transportation. Well, this event drew out many gawkers and the traffic was crazy, well not Biketoberfest crazy, but certainly crazy for this block long stretch between A1A and Oriole Circle.
After making a mental note about the traffic situation to attempt to remember to share it with you Counters, this olelongrooffan took a look back at that Beach Patrol truck. I noticed a member of Ormond Beach's Defenders of Justice along with the Beach Patrol dude and there were also a couple other dudes who looked a bit askew.
At the time, I didn't think alot of it and went back to watching the firefighters do what they like to do. Put out fires.
But then the firetruck and EVAC unit arrived on the scene and I watched that EVAC unit turn right on Florida Street and head over to that Beach Patrol truck.
When this olelongrooffan spotted the EVAC dude and dudette loading one of those askew looking dudes on a stretcher I knew I had to head on over to see what was up. As I was walking to the *ss end of the Family Dollar building, another EVAC truck arrived and they started loading up the second dude on another stretcher.
I had the opportunity to have a moment with the Beach Patrol dude and he related that those two guys were homeless and living in that oasis just a block from the Taj Mahal. "How'd it start?" I asked. "It seems they were pretty drunk and started a fire to warm up some food."
Apparently they had spent some amount of time there as you can see the previously hidden pile of refuse in the center of the above image.
As you can see in the below image, the fire truck is in the reverse position from when it arrived.
Upon arrival, those firemen got the blaze under control with onboard water and once that had happened, they hooked up to a down the street fire hydrant and did the deep application of water to that "forest fire."
This olelongrooffan hung around long after most of the spectators had left because, well, just because.
The only others hanging about were a boy and girl, aged about 10 and 12 respectively. The girl, who brought to mind my daughter Jessica, asked if I knew what had happened. I related to her what I had learned and we continued to speak. She mentioned that she and her brother had played in those bushes many times. I looked at her with great alarm as she mentioned there were chairs, a fire pit and lots of "trash". Although I had never previously seen this gregarious young lady, I asked if she had mentioned this to any adults. She replied in the negative and I suggested that should she, or any of her friends, see this type situation again they should tell an adult about it. She asked me why? and I asked her if she had ever heard of an Amber Alert? Of course, she replied. I related that sometimes this is the reason an Amber Alert is issued. She looked at me with an incredible look and said "I never thought of that! Thanks."
By this time, the Big Dog in the Suburban had arrived and was doing his assessment of the situation and I knew the show, except for the cleanup, was over and this olelongrooffan jumped in my Indian and headed back to the Taj Mahal and this blogpost.
And it is knowing that I was able to, unfortunately, open the eyes of an innocent young lady and the fact that Ormond's finest firefighters are just a short distance away really lets this olelongrooffan