Firebug II

It was a quite evening, there were no incidents among the support house residents, with the exception of Denver, who was making a nuisance of himself.

During the last couple of weeks, Denver has been smoking an abundance of the inferior synthetic marijuana, K-2, and one of the side effects is the tendency to be restless and paranoid. In general Denver is a restless person, who have a short fuse, and is in conflict with most people he interacts with.

The K-2 effects are amplifying his annoying personality traits, coupled with the K-2 side effects. Now he is involved with every elicit user in the building, those who sell drugs and is one of the main perpetrators that engage in the repeated sexual exploitation and robbing of Tanya.

It is Ironic, that Denver was supposed to be in the detoxification stage in an resident drug re-habilitation (rehab) program. He had to go there as an ultimatum to being in violation of the support house regulations. He showed up to the rehab on Wednesday, but by Friday he was kicked out because of aggressive behavior. Now he is a headache to staff, until they can find another program willing to accept him.

In the interim; part of today’s support house activities is to conduct a fire drill. It was a modified drill, residents didn’t need to go outside into the cold. The drill was conducted and most of the residents complied and participated without problems.   

It was mid evening when Supervisor Penelope finally wrapped up things. She said, “finally, I can get to go home.” When she left, everything was in order. But, Counselor Jose heard Counselor May, call his name frantically.

When Counselor Jose came out of the Med room to find out what was happening, Denver met him at the office door. Denver said, “Jose, there is a fire in my room.” Denver said it in a nonchalant manner, that Jose thought he was bullshitting.

Jose said, “what!” Denver repeated himself, and said, “I’ve a fire in my room.” Jose pulled the fire extinguisher from the wall, and said to Denver, come on let’s see what’s up. “But, as Jose ascended he remembered that he forgot the master key in the med room , he told Denver that he need him to unlock the door once he determine it was safe to open the door.

Once outside the room, as Jose was feeling the door to see if it was warm; Jose was relived that the door wasn’t warm because it tells him that the room isn’t engulfed in flames. It was determined that it was relatively safe to open it; before he could tell Denver to unlock the door, Denver attempted to run away.

Jose said to Denver, “hey! where the fuck you are going! Get your ass over here and open the fucking door!”

Denver did as he was told, and unlocked the room’s door, then Jose pushed the door open with his foot.

The inside of the room was dark, the light blacked out by thick black and grey smoke. Jose stepped in the room, but due to the poor visibility, Jose could not readily identify the source of the fire. Jose saw a constant light what appeared to be the fire. Jose trained the fire extinguisher where he saw the light. The extinguisher engulfed the light, but the light failed to go out.  He repeatedly engulfed the light, but it just wouldn’t go out. Jose saw that black smoke continued to generate; and the room was becoming darker and darker. Jose saw that it was hopeless and decided to exit the room before he is overcome with smoke halation.

It was a good thing that Jose had his COVID 19 prevention mask on; ironically, the mask served as a filter preventing Jose from inhaling the smoke, allowing him the few minutes that was needed to attempt to put out the fire.

Jose stepped out of the room, made sure that the door was shut, he ran down the stairs to call the Fire Department for assistance.

When Jose entered the Med room, he was out of breath, he picked up the phone and called 911. The 911 operator asked what emergency assistance was requested.

Jose, still short of breath managed to say “Fire department…” The operator asked the first of the questions that she was required to ask. Suddenly, the fire alarm sounded, then the operator said, “oh, I hear the fire alarm!” There was no need for her to ask any questions after she acknowledged that the fire alarm is asounding; she just said that the Fire Department is on the way.

Jose was relived to hear that and removed the mask from his face; Jose saw that he outside of the mask was black; he said to himself, “wow, it’s a good thing I had on this mask, it caught the black stuff that would have entered my lungs.”

As the fire alarm sounded, the sprinkler system in Denver’s room was activated, and water gushed from the sprinklers, raining down and leaking through the walls, and seeping down wetting up the lobby, at the same time, some of the residents started to respond to the fire alarm as they were trained to do.

It took the Fire Department, less than five minutes to arrive; Firemen started to invade the building. Jose took the Firemen up to Denver’s unit; but both Jose, and the Firemen were slowed down by residents coming down the stairs.

Residents coming down the stairs, and Firemen going up the stairs kind of created a sort of organized chaos. Until finally, a Fireman with authority asked if there is another staircase. Jose, pointed out the staircase, and the Fireman started to use it, making their up and down movements un-hindered.   

During that time, the support house Supervisor returned; when Jose saw her, in jest, he said, “what happened, was you stood up by your date. The small joke briefly broke the stress of the event.

The Supervisor said, that she returned because when she was crossing the street to go into the subway, she heard the building’s fire alarm. Jose, said “you mean you heard the alarm over five blocks away.” The Supervisor said, “yes.” “We better call the Director and tell her what is happening.”

In the meantime, Denver was running around apologizing for starting the fire; even asking Jose, what will the consequences of his action. Will he be allowed to stay in the support house program?  Jose suspects that Denver is not really apologizing, he is patronizing  because he doesn’t want to be arrested and sent to the Psych Ward. It will be weeks before the Psych Ward will release him; that is if they find that the fire wasn’t intentionally done. If it was intentionally done, Denver would be referred to the Police department and put through the process of spending time in prison for arson.

Jose said, look, Denver, you’ve been here for a while, and you’ve seen what happened to everyone that started some sort of fire. Now, think about it, do you see anyone who started a fire continue to stay here. You know that they all got kicked out.

Some of the residents were pissed, they were questioning why Denver wasn’t kicked out, he is always involved in some type of incident. This time, it could destroy the building making everyone homeless. Some were even contemplating to whip his ass.

The Supervisor, and the Director were both on the same sheet of music; they wanted Denver out. They came up with a plan to do it.

First, they are going to call Police, and have them send Denver to the Psych Ward for a mental health evaluation. Once Denver is physically out of the support house, he won’t be allowed back in. Meanwhile, the administrative work will be done to formally discharge him from the program.

The plan was implemented, the Cops came and forced Denver to go to the Psych Ward emergency room. The Psych Ward only held Denver for two days before releasing him. After that Denver had to go directly to a shelter because he was not allowed back into the support house building. 30 days later. Denver was discharged from the support house program.

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