Posted by: markfender | April 4, 2012

My Visit from the Fire Department

I was visited by the Fire Department the other day and it was not a friendly visit.

With the influx of spring, I decided that it was high time that I cooked some steak. Unfortunately, I don’t own a grill (nor, actually, could I, as my apartment balcony is way too narrow for that sort of thing) so that means I had to cook it on the stove.

While certainly not ideal, I’m pretty good at it. I know all about room temperature meat, super-hot cast iron pans, and have got the whole timing down to a science. So, with the doors wide open (to control the smoke), I proceeded to cook a steak. When the eight minutes were over, the apartment was kinda smoky. I wrapped the steak in tin foil to let it continue to cook and took a breather out on the balcony while the apartment aired out. ‘Course, unbeknownst to me, this is also when my neighbors began panicking about the smoke and banged on my door. But I was outside and didn’t hear it. So, they called the fire department.

Oblivious, I came back inside and ate my steak. I then did the dishes. About this time, there’s a lot of loud banging at the door. I’m greeted by the fire department. They were entirely nonplussed. One of them came inside, looked around, and pretty much said “Oh, nothing’s going on here.” But it was the other one who concerned me. After hearing of my cooking adventures, he said, ” Do you have a grill in here?”

At the time, that sounded like a really stupid question. Who the hell has a grill inside? That’s just dumb. The fireman didn’t strike me as dumb, though. Which, on reflection, causes me more concern. He asked that question because he’s seen it before.

Steak was good, though.


  1. Never underestimate the stupidity of a person, im quite sure they have seen it and worse before.

  2. My sister & her husband rent a condo in Knoxville, TN and they have to hide their little camping sized grill when using it on their patio (there’s a waist high brick wall around the patio). Apparently at some point, somebody burned down an apartment complex causing Knoxville’s city council to ban the use of grills at ANY multi-dwelling structure within the city limits.

  3. Sadly, I’m sure he have seen it before. There is usually a couple of stories a year of people killing themselves from smoke inhalation because of using a grill indoor. I don’t know how you can possibly think it’s a good idea, but then we also saw last week that a woman thought it was a good idea to decant petrol next to her gas stove, while cooking. Result: explosion and third degree burns.

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