Let me first say, I'm glad I wasn't here, only because the boys seemed to handle it a lot calmer than I ever would.
I don't like fire.I don't have fond memories of fire. I can remember back to my fifth year, or I might have been younger. We were camping as a family with either a tent (that's if I was younger) or the pop-up Star-craft camper. There was another family camping not too far from us. They had a daughter about my age. I remember playing with her during the day, then later that evening watching her running around the campfire with her siblings. Something happened, causing her to change directions in their game. She went right through the fire ring which had some type of metal grill over it (remembering that far back loses some details). She fell over with her foot caught in this metal. I don't know if the flames licked her leg or boiling water or baked beans spilt onto her leg. I know there was a lot of commotion with my parents trying to help them. They took her to the car wrapped up in a blanket.
Later in life the "evil beast of fire" was the bathroom heater. It was a gas unit built into the wall. Turn the gas valve on, strike a match, and POOF. No thank you. I didn't strike a match for that beast until I was 15. I took quick baths, or finagled Mom or Dad to "just light it while your in there, please."
I do better now that we have an inclosed fireplace. I enjoy the heat, the lower electric and gas bill. AHHHH, warmth.
BUT, here we go. I don't like the burn permit in our neighborhood. And I'm definitely not going to have a burn pile in our own yard. So you can imagine the shock when I get a call from Hawk asking, "when are you and Dad going to get back from the PX?"
"We are just leaving post, now. Why?"
"Oh, we had a fire in the back yard. But it's out now."
"What do you mean you had a fire in the back yard. Why would you have a fire in the back yard?"
"Well, I guess Dad asked Bradley to dump that bucket of old ashes out in the composter when he needed to clean out the fireplace earlier and wanted a clean bucket."
"Yeah, those ashes have been outside for a couple of days."
Well, there must have been some hot coals down in the middle. Herogian said he touched the top of the ash pile and they were cold. But when I looked out my window after you guys left, there was a fire as big as the bonfires Mr. Henry likes to make."
*** Mr. Henry is the boy scout leader who makes big bonfires at Winter Campouts.***
He continued, "I hollered at Gluten that there was a fire in our backyard, but he didn't believe me until he followed me outside. We grabbed the water hose and dragged it down there, then got the hose from the front yard. Herogian came out with a bucket of water from the kitchen. We doused it really good. The yard is a swamp down there now. Tell Dad the composter is gone."
Those smart, calm, trained boys knew what to do. When we got home, they walked me down there (in muck boots) to show me that everything was wet. The composter - plastic - was indeed gone except for the bottom layer covered in dog poo and mud. The pile of kindling 2x4x4 was gone, and the corner of the woodpile was toasted. There was a trenching line curving from the garden gate, around the corner, cutting the spread of flames off from the rest of the garden area. They saved our asparagus! They wouldn't have if they had known what it was.
Commander took the boys out for Chinese food the following Sunday as their reward. Thank you boy scouts troop 167 for training the boys up right in this matter.