"Fire! Fire! " What terrible wordshear when one wakes upa strange housethe middlethe night! It waslarge, old, wooden house-the sort that burns beautifully---and my room wasthe top floor.jumped outbed, openeddoorstepped out intopassage. It was fullthick smoke.
beganrun, but aswas still only balf-awake, insteadgoing towardsstairswentthc opposite direction. The smoke grew thicker andcould see flames all around. The floor became hot under my bare feet.found an opcn doorran intoroomgetthe window.
But bcforecould reach it, onemy feet caughtsomething soft andfell down. The thinghad fallen over felt likebundleclothes , andpickedupprotect my face fromsmokeheat. Just thenfloor . gave way under me andcrashedthe floor below with piecesburning wood all around me.
sawflaming doorwayfront . putbundle over my faceran. My feet burned me terribly, butgot through. Asreachedcold air outside, my bundleclothes gavethin cry.nearly dropped itmy surprisel? Thensawcrowd gatheredthe street. A womana night-dress andborrowed man's coat screamed" as she saw mecame running madly.
"My baby ! My baby! " she cried. The crowd chcered wildly as she tooksmoke-blackened bundle outmy arms.had some difficultyrecognizing her. She wasMayor's wife, andhad saved her baby.washero!
Teresa went upMrs Webster's room, two stairs attime. She was nearly attop when she stoppedsniffed. A strong smellgas was coming from that direction. Teresa ran upremaining stairsthrew opendoor. She put her hands over her mouthstop a scream. Mrs Webster was lyingthe floor nearsink. Her skinlips hadpinkish colourshe appearedbe unconscious. The room was fullgas.
Who doesn't love sitting besidecosy firea cold winter's night? Who doesn't lovewatch flames curling upchimney? Fireoneman's greatest friends, but also onehis greatest enemies. Many big fires are caused by carelessness. A lighted cigarette thrown outa car or train window orbroken bottle lyingdry grass can startfire. Sometimes,though,fire can startits own. Wet hay can begin burning by itself. Thishowhappens:hay starts to.rotbeginsgive off heat whichtrapped inside it. Finally,bursts into flames. That's why farmers cutstore their hay when it's dry.
Fires have destroyed whole cities. Inl7th century,small fire which begana baker's shop burnt down nearly every buildingLondon. Moscow was setfire duringwar against Napoleon. This fire continued burningseven days. And,course,64 A. D. Nero fiddled while Rome burned! Even today,spitemodern fire-fighting methods. fire causes millionspounds' worthdamage each year bothour cities andthe countryside. It has been wisely said that firea good servant butbad master.