I discovered my passion for writing after I quit my day job. So I began to write fiction stories, self-help books, and articles, blogs, etc.
The short story is based on the fire drama in real life as a part of the author’s childhood experience.
They had a gas station a few steps away from their home. The fire caught in it one evening.
Read on to find out the little adventure the author and family experienced on this particular night. It was spectacular, dramatic, and fully venturesome.
Pass by the Gas Station to School
As I mentioned already, during our childhood, we lived in a complex that overlooked a gas station.
It was a station that catered not only gas to cars, trucks, vans, and vehicles of all kinds but also sold gas cylinders. These were very significant for connecting to our stoves for the sake of cooking.
We would walk to school about a mile away passing the gas station in a group – all those who studied in the school, even including one or two teachers from our complex who taught the little children in lower grades at school.
When we returned from school, also walking, the gas station stood in an angular position, concealing our complex. It was a positive sign that our home was only a few steps away, and we were almost there.
Fire Breaks out in the Gas Station
After dropping us at school, our Mom was back home one afternoon and continued to cook and prepare recipes. These would be served to guests who were invited that evening.
Evening approached; guests started arriving and our Mom was putting a finishing touch to the dishes.
One old lady who came in with her hubby as our guest was conversing with my sisters and me. We then ventured to look out of the window.
The old lady said, ”So there is construction going around here also!”
We said, “Yes” and continued to gaze at the outside scene and so was the old lady.
All of a sudden, big tanks, bulldozers and cranes pushed off the barricade that was put on the street in front of our window, and one after another they hastened to go ahead with mighty force and urgency. What happened?
We called out to Mommy, “Something has happened. Everybody is rushing out of the complex. First the construction vehicles – now the people of the building. Probably a war broke out. We have to evacuate as well!!
Mom put on her cool. She switched off all the stoves, took our home keys and prepared us to leave. Dad was alerted as well who took his work briefcase with important documents. The guests left immediately.
Something went wrong definitely. As we came out of our home on the third floor, there was a crowd of people, some saying prayers to themselves. They all reached for the stairs and so did we. Fortunately, there was no stampede and we reached the ground floor. Immediately people there told us, “Don’t go through the front doors; go through this side door behind the stairs.”
We could see reflections of orange flames showing boldly on the front glass doors. And we knew a fire broke out somewhere near.
Panic and Reason for Fire Breakout
We stepped out of the side door into the street. It was the same street we were gazing at from the window of our home. As we crossed the street, we saw a huge mass of orange blazing fire reaching higher and higher up the sky.
As we moved on and on, we met people, all alarmed and frightened coming out of their ground floor homes. Why were they scared? The fire was nearer our home, and yet, we were less scared.
Soon we met two ladies from our complex who said that the fire broke out from the gas station. Someone had carelessly thrown a lit cigarette in the gas cylinder area. Then the spark from the cigarette, on touching the cylinders one by one, caught fire. We could no wonder hear outbursts of these cylinders every now and then until the fire became huge and broad covering up the sky.
Spend the Night at the Old Couple’s Home
We went to an unknown family home for a little rest who invited us in cordially and provided us food and drinks. Then we set out for the old couple's home who had been our guests at home a few hours ago.
On reaching the couple's home, and ringing the bell of their home several times, they awoke and cordially invited us inside. We shared stories all through the night. Then the hosts left for retiring to bed once again while we remained in the living room with cozy pillows, bed sheets, and cushions.
We barely slept until morning arrived. The man of the host home had already gone for work. After we freshened up and had breakfast prepared by the old lady, we set for home walking, looking here and there curiously.
Reach Back Home
Soon we were on the same street where construction was going on. We were happy to see life again. Construction workers were working busily on the street while we ventured for the front doors of our complex this time. Before going inside, we took a long look in the direction of the gas station and then observed our complex.
We found our complex to be pretty unharmed except for smoky gray patches in several places on the outside mustard-colored walls. We were curious to go to the terrace, which was a playing ground for us, the children. The terrace was well protected with high enough walls so that nobody would ever fall over. We were inquisitive to watch the view of the station from up there. However, our parents did not approve and discarded the idea. “You will be able to watch its condition when you go to school again.”
How was the Fire Extinguished?
We heard later that fifty extra fire brigades came from nearby cities to extinguish the bold massive fire. It took a lot of effort and courage on the firemen to put out the fire and they worked on it diligently all through the night. Luckily no one was killed but one or two were only injured.
The Fire Station Damaged Fully But Reborn Gradually
The fire station was completely ruined. The front and back were burnt heavily. There was no gas to provide for vehicles for months.
The gas pumps were all burnt – so were the cylinders, which we heard them burst in the fire the other night.
For months, the station was in a dormant and hibernating status. But as we continued to walk to school and return home, we saw workers working hard on the station to give a more modern and aesthetic look. Gas and gas cylinders were abundant and the station was reborn with life again.
The memories of the fire incident that evening continuing throughout the night are indelible in my mind until today. We were so frightened at the horror of the night then but at the same time, we did not fail to enjoy the little adventure that we encountered.
Nevertheless, it was actually bliss and reassurance to see the gas station burgeon again and it still symbolized brilliantly that our home was only a few steps away when we walked back from school.