Firefighters can come across some pretty merciless scenes during their line of duty. However, not all calls are of the serious type. Firefighters often get ridiculous calls from loads of people. In this piece, firefighters share the dumbest person they had to save from a stupid situation.
Remember, stories were edited for clarity.
"I once had a firefighter tell me he almost died in a fire while going back into the house to look for the owner. A neighbor was concerned about why the firefighter was still in the residence, so he asked another firefighter. This is about how the exchange went:
Neighbor: 'Why is that fireman still in the house?'
Firefighter: 'He's looking for the owner of the home.'
Neighbor: 'He is over there with the video camera.'
Turns out the owner did not think it was important to alert the fire department he was out of the house. Instead, he was just taking video of the whole event. The fire started because the owner had tried to smother his barbecue flame with left over wood from the siding that had been installed on his home. The owner did not realize it would burn. Burned his whole house down."
"Years ago we had this call straight out of 'Caddy Shack.' Some guy had gotten tired of this gopher ruining his yard. Little did he know though he was facing the Sun Tzu of gophers. The homeowner, dwelling upon his experience from Vietnam, decided that the best way to deal with the gopher was to treat the situation like a VC tunnel, in lieu of a frag grenade he poured a five gallon can of gasoline down the gopher hole, waited with a varmint weapon, and lit it off.
The ensuing explosion caused a small crater to form in his yard. I am still thoroughly impressed that there was a proper fuel to air ratio in the network of tunnels that allowed for such an explosion to happen. However, the gopher refused to surrender without a fight. The gopher ran out of the hole engulfed in flames, causing the guy's yard to catch on fire. The gopher sprinted into the guy's shed still on fire and burrowed into a void space in the wall, where he died. Like the martyr perk from 'Modern Warfare,' his still flaming remains set the inside of the wall on fire as well as several flammables.
In the end the guy's backyard was ruined and about a quarter of his shed burned down taking out a bunch of power tools and a zero turn mower. He definitely would have saved a few thousand dollars if he had hired an exterminator."
"Rolled up to a row of two-story town homes. The unit in the middle was blowing and going. By the time we put the fire out, there was a huge 'V' pattern on the back side of the complex, meaning you could see where the fire started at about waist level near the rear wall because everything above it was burned away upwards and outwards. Just completely cratered and gone in a 'V' all the way up to the (now mostly missing) roof.
Turns out the genius in the middle unit was trying to start his charcoal BBQ grill. Unfortunately, he didn't have any starter fluid, so he got the fantastic idea to use gasoline instead. Alas, the coals didn't completely catch the first time he lit them off, so he decided to pour on more gasoline. OUT OF THE GLASS JAR HE WAS USING TO STORE IT IN. A spark in the coals leapt up the pouring gas into the jar. Said genius panicked and threw the jar. Directly at the wall of his town home. Where it exploded. He firebombed his own home.
When we rolled up our hoses and went back in service, leaving the scene in the capable hands of the investigators, the neighbors from either side were angrily and animatedly grouped up on the sidewalk out front, waiting for Captain Dummy to return from the walk he had suddenly decided he needed to go on to 'clear his head.'"
"We got a call about a little kid stuck in a bathtub. Nobody could make heads or tails of how a child can get physically stuck in a bathtub, so we rocked up in one of our engines and had a look.
What had happened was that the child, almost three years old, had been left in the bath to play while it drained. The drain had a bolted-down sieve in it, with five holes. Kiddo had five fingers, and must have thought it a good idea to jam them into said holes. Of course, they swelled up and got stuck. So now we had a kid attached to a bathtub drain, and no way to get at the bolt holding him there.
A buddy and me were sent down to get:
A large hammer
An angle grinder (gas-powered)
A spare helmet
A dog plushie
We filled the tub back up a bit, enough so kiddo's hand was covered in water for cooling. We gave him the plushie, with instructions to make sure it doesn't get wet, gave him ear plugs and a Real Life Fireman's Helmet, and went to town. Four quick cuts around the drain hole, then bash in the tiles, and finally another cut through the drain.
We then transported the boy/tub hybrid to the hospital for dehybridization, since the fingers had become quite blue, and we didn't want to induce tourniquet removal syndrome without access to proper medical care."
"This is my favorite story of my dads. He's a young firefighter and gets called to an unknown medical call. He and his partner show up and a very concerned gay man answers the door. They ask what the problem is and the homeowner guides them to the bedroom where another man is in bed under the covers. His partner tells him to take the covers off and show the firefighters. He reluctantly removes the sheets to reveal a fish tail protruding from the man's buttocks. They ask what happened, and he said they used a frozen fish as a toy and it thawed out and the spiky dorsal fin was now latched in his rectum. My dad calls backup and the chief arrives at the house. He walks into the bedroom and assesses the situation and without missing a beat tells the man... 'Son, you really need to learn to chew your food better.'"
"My friend’s former roommate was a firefighter. Anyway, I was over at their place one day, and firefighter Dave comes home looking exhausted. We could smell the smoke on him, so we knew he had seen some action that day.
We asked him about it, and he just got this really sad, but humored look in his eye. An Instagram model had set her apartment building on fire by filling her room with candles for some photo shoot where she would pretend to be doing yoga in the middle of hundreds of candles.
But she saw a spider sitting on one of the lit candles... So she sprayed some Raid at it.
The room pretty much ignited extremely quickly and, in her fear, she threw the bottle of Raid at the fire, and then hid in her shower across the hall.
She was still in the apartment when Dave kicked in the door and carried her out, her apartment engulfed in flames. She was close to passing out from smoke inhalation, so Dave had to cradle her in his arms. As he carries her to the window to be lowered on a ladder, she says 'Wait'.
Dave stops, thinking she is about to tell him about someone else that needs rescuing.
She meekly lifts her phone and snaps a selfie, making the duck face and everything, flames in the background.
Apparently by the time he left, the Instagram model had posted the photo to her profile and it was already getting tons of likes.
From what I hear, though, she DID kill the spider. So technically she wasn’t a TOTAL moron."
"The fire department and the paramedics had to come to my work one day because some kid didn’t know the difference between a swimming pool and a splash pad...
There’s this artificial waterfall that goes down into a basin that’s only about two inches deep where there're fountains and stuff for kids to play in. This kid decided to climb the waterfall (there are multiple signs posted not to do this) and decided to dive off into the water below that again is only TWO INCHES DEEP!
Luckily, the kid landed flat on his face, so he survived and avoided being paralyzed, but he was knocked out cold immediately and would have probably drowned but luckily his mother heard the splat and came running over screaming and pulled him out."
"I'm not the firefighter, but my brother's wife at the time was.
There was this massive structure fire at a barn in town that drew out nearly every truck in the general area - like three towns worth of fire fighters trying to get this thing under control. During all of this, there was some lady who continuously called 911 asking over and over 'What's going on at the farm up the road?' According to her, this woman would have to be a complete moron to not realize what was going on as the fire could be seen for miles.
Fast forward later into the night and one of the ambulances on scene suddenly leaves - obviously not normal for this sort of situation, but there isn't much time to question it. Fast forward still and as things are finally starting to calm down and are under control, one of the volunteers on the original ambulance comes over in his own car and shuffles sheepishly over to her and the chief of their department. He tells them that there is a woman a little ways down the road who called the ambulance (hence why they left) and requires a lift assist, but absolutely REFUSES to let the EMTs do it. No, no, it has to be a fire fighter....
My brother's wife seeing that the other departments have things under control, goes with the man to see what's up. Apparently, it was the same woman who had called 911 over and over again and when they arrive, she is laying on the floor absolutely wailing.
EMT's say they can't find anything wrong from what they've been able to do, but with her requested firefighter they are finally able to get this woman up. They start asking her what happened, hoping she might be more willing to share with my brother's wife there, and she says....
'I was just feeling a little ignored. I figured this would get your attention'
Grown woman just laid herself on the floor, called for help, insisted on a fire fighter when there was no need - all because the barn fire was getting way more attention than she was and the 911 operators wouldn't give her the gossip about what was going on.
I know she got in major trouble for abusing 911, but from what I hear from the people on both fire and ambulance, she has made a habit of calling for help whenever she feels she's not getting enough attention."
"Once got called out to a fully involved two-story residential structure fire. The fire had probably had time to consume the building for an hour or two before anyone noticed (residents weren't home, no nearby neighbors). The place was so hot, you could feel your skin starting to crisp up underneath your turnout gear 30 feet away. Obvious surround and drown operation, no way were we saving any part of this building.
The homeowner comes up to me screaming and crying while I'm on the nozzle that we have to go inside to save her four dogs. I didn't know how to tell her that if I couldn't get close to the house in fireproof pants, there was not a snowball's chance her dogs trapped inside were still alive.
All told it took about seven hours to put the fire out, and another two to finish overhaul and packing up our gear. The entire building was gone, nothing but a few burnt out support beams left.
Comes out later that she was illegally renting the place out like a tenement house to a bunch of day laborers and their families and had gotten someone to do unlicensed electrical work inside which started the fire. It's a wonder no humans were hurt, but I think about that fire and that woman's total disregard for safety or the well-being of her tenants a lot.
Multiple families lost everything they owned that day because some cheap landlord took shortcuts where she shouldn't have."
"I got a call from a guy about cries for help coming from his neighbor’s house. The neighbor called 911. We roll up lights and sirens and sure enough, there’s a lady calling for help out the upstairs bedroom window.
'Ma’am, we’re with the fire department, are you injured?'
'No, it’s my husband, he’s unconscious, please hurry.'
'Is he breathing, yes, I think so'
'Can you let us in?'
'No just break down the door'
So we break down the front door and rush upstairs to the master bedroom only be greeted by the woman, laying bare, chained spread eagle to the bed with her husband out cold on the floor, wearing nothing but a Batman cape and mask.
Evidently, during their kinky playtime, he had climbed up on a dresser, and was going to jump onto the bed, but slipped in some lubricant and knocked himself out cold. She was secured tight to the bed and unable to free herself and since this was mid 1980s, there was no way to ask Siri or Alexa to call for help.
We loaded him up for a trip to the hospital and cut her loose, so she could get dressed and join him. He made a full recovery."
"I wasn't the fire fighter, I was the person being saved. July 4th ya boy decides to get a little tipsy and I happen to have about $1,000 worth of fireworks. I had mortars, Roman candles, bottle rockets, artillery shells, and lastly cakes! For some reason I thought it'd be cool to shoot off fireworks from my floor (third floor of a three flat building).
My friends were smart enough (still dumb) to aim fireworks away from the buildings to the sky. I happen to grab the rocket mid spark and aim downwards when I saw sparkly lights. The rocket blasts straight to my neighbors dog house and blows it to pieces (it felt like I was in 2008 Iraq). I was excited and scared at the same time since I am a fiend when it comes to blowing stuff up.
After coming a little to my senses my buddies and I rush to a now inflamed dog house which is spreading quickly. We don't own fire extinguisher, so we just grabbed my blankets to attempt to put off. I know fire blankets exists but what I didn't know is that they are a special type of blanket. I thought fire blankets meant any type of blanket used to put out a fire. So here we are using my Guatemalan sown tiger blankets to put off this fire which is spreading all over my neighbors garden.
We are trapped within the garden screaming. I didn't get the danger of this totally since I didn't see myself dying, so I thought it was a slight game. Fortunately we have neighbors all around us(I live in Chicago where apartment are pretty close to each other.) and they had called firefighters pretty early. Now imagine me laughing and screaming out of enjoyment of being in a cool(but hot) circular fire while my two buddies are freaking out. Firefighters come and put out fire pretty quickly. I was just laughing the whole time and felt like I was one with the rocket.
All this happened within about four minutes. We got burned but not too bad. Got evicted within a couple days and paid for neighbors damages. I will never drink again but yea that's my horrible dumb story. For those that doubt I can attach my eviction letter and show burns we all got. I also have remnants of my burnt blanket. It's tiny but you can still see the tiger head of it."
"Once I went on a call for a man with 'unknown trauma' to his lower body. When we arrived, there was a man laying on the couch of his ex-wife‘s house and his pants were ripped and caked in blood. We tried to get the ex-wife to tell us what happened but all she kept saying was, 'I woke up this morning and found him here laying on my couch.'
In my mind I was a little skeptical since it seemed like the two hated each other but I ignored it and continued to examine the man. He reeked and seemed very discombobulated probably due to the large amount of blood he lost. We asked him what happened, but he didn’t know either. So we asked him to remove his pants and sure enough his underwear was soaked in blood as well. We cut off his underwear and to our astonishment this man’s ball sack was cut open in an almost surgical fashion. And the best part was that both of his balls were hanging outside his sack. Ironically, due to how inebriated this man was he didn’t bleed to death because the stuff he consumed had slowed his heart rate.
Long story short, this man had gotten so inebriated that he somehow ended up at his ex-wife’s house and when he couldn’t get in the front door he decided to climb a fence in the backyard which had sharp exposed points on the top of it...and when he jumped to the ground let’s just say not all of him made it down.
And that’s the time I had to hold another man’s sack together because he was being a dummy."
"This person was staying at an extended stay place(think hotel but you live there more long term and you usually have a hot plate and fridge or something like that.) Well, this guy came home from work and decided he was hungry and started cooking some eggs. He then decided to lay down on his bed, where he promptly fell asleep. The eggs start burning and he ends up inhaling smoke.
We bust through his door and I try shaking him awake. But by that point so much smoke was in his body that he didn't wake up even with me shaking him. My captain tells me to grab his torso, he grabs the legs, and we start hauling him out. Well that jolts him awake, and he is obviously combative towards us.
We explain the situation, and he calms down, but he could have passed if he had been asleep for like five more minutes in that environment."
"The coldest day of the year. It was -8 out, plus wind chill. Guy was trying to thaw a frozen water pipe in the basement, using a BLOW TORCH. Caught the wall on fire. Did NOT call 911 until the entire basement was on fire. Our chief was in the fire station, 1 1/2 blocks away, and by the time he was on-scene, the first floor was burning. Spent 5 hours in the freezing cold, putting it out.
I was on an attack line, kneeling on the sidewalk and spraying water into a second-floor window. Mist was blowing back onto me from the water stream. Eventually, another firefighter relieved me, so I could go to the Rehab tent.
I couldn't get up, I was frozen to the ground, and my arms had a layer of ice on them, so I couldn't bend them.
We were still fighting it when the insurance adjuster arrived. Our assistant chief said, 'So, do you know what started this fire?'
The guy replied, 'Yeah, but we insure for stupidity.'"
"Right before Christmas, we had a structure fire that was started by the homeowner burning his 55 gallon drum of random wood cuttings and pieces from various tree trimmings under his 'home engineered' carport. Now, to paint the picture a little, this carport is every bit of MAYBE six feet high. And made of nothing but plywood and two×fours. He then used decking bolts to secure it to his mobile home.
So, he lights up his burn barrel, under his carport, because it’s kinda misty out, and he doesn’t want to stand in it. The flames from the CEDAR he was burning in his barrel reached probably 15 feet high and caught his carport on fire, which in turn, caught his car, his wife’s car, and his mobile home on fire.
He’s on the far outskirts of our district, so by the time we roll up, his cars are fully involved, with about half of his house rolling.
Luckily for his kids, we were able to get in and save all of their Christmas gifts from under the tree. Seeing their faces after we brought out their presents is a memory I’ll never forget.
All because he HAD TO BURN HIS WOOD BARREL THAT DAY."
"I was a volunteer firefighter many years back. One summer, after a long period of no rain, two good old boys decide to have a few (dozen) drinks and take their Jeep into a nearby field to go off-roading.
Well, two-feet-tall corn stalks that are bone-dry wind-up getting jammed up into the undercarriage, which, on a 90+ degree day, turns out to be hot enough to ignite a fire. The owner of the field sees the situation unfolding from their house and calls for fire and police.
Given the proximity to my location, I go directly to the scene after hearing the page go out and see these two scumbags trying to drive the Jeep faster and faster to put the fire out. Eventually, the engine gives out, but they won’t leave the car. I physically had to reach-in, burning my arms in the process (since I didn’t respond to the station first to get my turnout gear), and pull them out - somehow, they decided that remaining in the car would slowdown the flames.
And because they thought it was a good idea to continue driving a burning vehicle around a dry field, we now have a significant brush fire and have to call mutual aid from another county to help douse the fire.
State Police get involved, I have a nice trip to the hospital. And guys lose their Jeep and the remainder of their leftover drinks."