There I was, in the middle of a Physical Therapy session about 20 minutes from where I live.
If memory serves, I was standing heel-toe on top of a 2" tall block of squishy foam attempting to maintain my balance.
My phone rang. I instinctively pulled it out of my shirt pocket and glanced at the caller.
It was Sprite.
"I gotta answer this." I informed S, the PT guy.
I accepted the call and all I heard was the roar of wind, as if she was holding her phone near the window while driving. "Hello?" I said into the phone several times. No response. I attributed it to a butt-dial and hung up.
Thirty seconds later: "Ring, ring, ring" Almost the same thing. Lots of wind rush but before I hung up, Sprite started talking. "Joe, Joe do you have a fire extinguisher in your house?" then the phone cut out.
Fifteen seconds later. Another call. Sprite again. "I didn't hear you answer. Do you have a fire-extinguisher?"
"No. We do not have a fire extinguisher in our house. Get the hell out of your house and call 9-1-1!!!" I yelled.
I don't know why people yell. The entire reason for having phones is to make yelling unnecessary.
I decided to NOT leave the PT session. It would be at least 20 minutes before I could be back there and the place would likely be swarming with firefighters long before I arrived.
S-the-PT guy then told me he had been giving PT to a firefighter some years back when the firefighter's pager went off. S asked "Do you have to go?" and the firefighter responded "Nope, I am a volunteer. I can sit this one out.
Shortly afterward another message came through. "Structure at 12345 Somewhere Drive fully-involved. Need more help to save surrounding structures"
S-the-PT guy said, "Hey, that is my neighbor's house!"
The firefighter said "I probably ought to go."
S agreed that was a good idea.
The S asked how I knew Sprite was in her own house and hadn't been visiting mine when she called.
Now that is a very perplexing question. I tried to call Mrs ERJ but got no answer.
10 minutes later I got a text from Sprite. "Everybody is safe".
There wasn't much I could do so I finished the PT session and then did the assigned "homework".
Sprite's grandson (early 20s) was over and was working on "his" food-plot for the upcoming hunting season.
Somewhere he got it into his head that he needed to do a controlled burn.
Everything was peachy until the wind picked up a little bit. He used the fire-extinguisher from Sprite's house with little effect.
Sprite "suggested" he use a rake and shovel to push burning material back into the burnt zone. The grandkid at first resisted...and then complied. Of course you can control a burn with a shovel and a rake if you know what you are doing and the wind isn't blowing too fast.
Unfortunately, the internet experts that convinced the kid he needed a controlled burn were shilling all kinds of commercially manufactured products. It never occurred to the kid he could use the old shovels and rakes in Sprite's barn.