The local fire department began receiving alarms about a possible fire at a local business CompuCal on Thursday, July 17th at 10:37am. The fire fighters were dressed and on the road within minutes. As they grew close to the small accounting firm, it was difficult to judge the extent of the damage. Although employees could be seen rushing out the doors of the company—there was no noticeable damage to the exterior of the building. In fact, nothing seemed out of the ordinary except the expressions of the employees themselves. The firefighters noticed an odd mixture of confusion, terror, and in some cases annoyance emanating throughout the employees.
What could possibly be the cause of the alarms and why were the people's reactions so different? The firefighters were all wondering to themselves as they pulled the truck to the front of the building and got out. Fire Chief David Kindle immediately started issuing commands to the rest of the crew—but was cut off mid sentence by a voice on the radio: “Medium level explosion felt in eastern corner of CompuCal building...security has been sent to check situation...will respond back with details of findings”. Given this new bit of information, Chief Kindle immediately went back to issuing commands to the rest of the firefighters. They were to proceed cautiously into the building to assist the building's security in finding the source of the explosion and do whatever possible to contain any potential fallout from the explosion.
However, as the firefighters got closer to the building doors another voice was heard on the radio:“First and second floor secured...proceeding to basement...will report back shortly with findings” **click** “There seems to be a lot of heat emanating from the basement here...proceeding with caution...HOLY SH--” **click**.
“Chief, the line went de--” one of the firefighters began to say, but was cut short. The air outside suddenly went silent...before exploding into a deafening noise. The men and women on the outside of the building watched in horror as the eastern side floor fired upward into the building and then outward to the surrounding areas in front of and behind the building. The firefighters who had been in the process of running toward the building were suddenly repelled backward as the force of the explosion hit them. It felt as though they had just been run over by a train. The explosion caused the glass walls of the first floor to explode outward, as the fiery concoction fired upwards. Glass shards flew everywhere as people ran for cover. No one could have prepared for what had happened. Unfortunately—it was not over.
The explosion continued upward—through the bottom of the second floor. Sending a mixture of building particles and office equipment in all directions. Soon even the ceiling began to crumble and collapse as it no longer had anything left beneath it to support it. The entire eastern side of the CompuCal now lay in rumble. The fiery concoction that had blown through the bottom of the building had finally finished its explosive path of destruction, but not before causing the rest of the building to catch fire.
Chief Kindle immediately brought his fire fighters together. There were a few firefighters injured by the blowback, but not enough to cause any internal damage. Chief Kindle had already made sure to call for back up as soon as the explosion had hit them, so the other fire departments and ambulances were all already there to help out. The firefighters focused all of their energy on putting the fire out and rescuing whoever they could find on the inside—while the medics took care of the injured on the outside.
The fire was difficult to tame, but the firefighters had been trained well and had plenty of experience combating the effects of fire. In the end it paid off—the fire was finally destroyed. It was time to investigate.