Friday, July 07, 2006

I hate fire.

I really do.
When I was a kid I used to have recurring nightmares about being burned alive inside a car following a wreck. Sometimes the dream wouldn't be a car, but rather a house, and I couldn't get out. The result was always the same though- I was dying by burning alive, and I'd wake up in a sweat, afraid to close my eyes again.

As a Red Cross volunteer, I see the affects of fire all the time. I'm fascinated how house fires can get so intensely hot they can melt lightbulbs, yet only scorch the walls and ceilings around the melted bulb. But my fascination stops there. I've seen the horrible affects fire has on the human body. Skin melts... just as lightbulbs do.

I've been to fires where children and adults have been injured or killed by the fire. Not all fire victims die from smoke inhalation, nor do they necessarily pass out before horrific burns are endured. I've learned that when you "stop, drop, and roll", you're NOT supposed to cover your face with your hands. Clothing commonly catches on fire before skin does (due to leaning over or into a flame), so when you put your hands over your face, you create a "tunnel" going from your chest, up your neck, to your face, where the fire can escape to. I've learned that carpet will melt from heat without catching on fire, often causing severe burns to bare feet trying to escape a burning house. And I've been the one to tell family members about the death of children.

So, when I watch the news or read the paper, and I see stories like this, and this... I cry. I can imagine the fear and pain Corinthian endured while being trapped in that fire. For me, it's a nightmare come true. I can imagine the intense pain, fear, and anger that Jordanian father and son are enduring right now, trying to recover from their injuries. I am just sick....


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