Monday, August 27, 2007

I'm On Fire

This morning, on my commute to work with Nate, we passed one of the fairly recent "garden" installations on Meridian St. And it was smoking. Our first thought was a leaking steam outlet from below the sidewalk surface. But on closer inspection, it was actually a fire.

Someone had thrown a cigarette into the garden, and it had ignited the partially plastic tarp below the mulch. The mulch, being wood, was also burning, and providing the smoke. A large black patch was creeping across the garden.

Our first plan of action was to try and smother the fire, so Nate stamped on it, but it was too spread out to be stopped by smothering. We considered calling the fire department, but decided eventually not to, since it was such a small thing. I went to the cafe a few doors down and asked them for a bucket of water, which they kindly provided, and I doused the fire. I kicked a little mulch on the damp puddle for good measure.

I'm glad I was able to solve the problem and get help from my neighbors. That makes me really happy, when a community works together and takes responsibility for community problems.

On the other hand, I'm really pissed off that someone threw the cigarette in the garden in the first place. There's been a real effort in East Boston to "clean up" the neighborhood, with the creation of multiple mini-gardens like this one, and grants for refacing store fronts, and just more general care for the buildings and grounds. I just wish people would think before they did stupid things like littering lit cigarette butts and starting fires.

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