Story time! Thought you may enjoy this story. It is one of my favorites :)
It was the summer of 2005. A hot summer with drought-like conditions. Jordan and our friends Brad, Jeremy, and Crystal, were at my brother's, Nick, and my house. Our parents were up north at their cottage. It was a Friday night. The guys were lighting off some bottle rockets outside maybe around 10 or 11 o'clock. They came in and we sat around for a while longer before they were all decided to get going home. Nick walked past the front door and yelled, "The tree's on fire!" Everyone thought he was joking but I recognized the look of genuine fear on his face.
It turns out, Jordan had put one of the bottle rockets in a small hole on the side of the tree thinking it would shoot off from there. But instead, it fell into the hole and made a small 'pop' in the inside of the tree. That's why the tree caught fire. So we all went out there and observed the smoke coming out. One of us had the idea to put a garden hose down the small hole to put the smoke out. We didn't think there was a big fire in there...maybe just a small flame. So after watering the tree for a while, we pulled out the hose and it had melted! At the time I remember thinking, "Dad is going to kill me, we melted the end of his garden hose!"
So there was still smoke coming out. We didn't really think it was means to call the fire dept at the time, but the smoke turned to flames and the flames got bigger! Someone called the fire dept; it may have been me but I don't remember because I was more worried about calling my dad. I let him know that there was a small fire in the tree but the fire dept was working on getting it put out. I think I had woke him up because he was like, "whatever". The fire dept guys were like, "Hey, we were just here last year to put out a fire in this tree after being struck by lightening. We told Wayne to cut it down then already - he's so stubborn!" So after about an hour or two and 2000 gallons of foam and water, the guys told us they couldn't save the tree and to call Wayne to get permission to cut it down. So I called dad, crying, and told him they had to cut them down. And he said, "NO WAY!" as if he had a choice!!
Our friend from a tree service came and cut down the 16 foot round tree in sections that fell onto the driveway's newly resurfaced blacktop. There were a couple of big cracks and dents in the blacktop. Talk about bad timing!! My brother and I were beside ourselves!
Early the next morning, many of our friends and Jordan's parents came out to help clean up the entire front yard which was full of leaves, sticks, limbs, branches, and tree trunk! Luckily, one of our friends had a skidsteer so he hauled a couple of the huge, unchoppable chunks of trunk away. At least we contributed a ton of firewood for dad's wood burner! Can't say he ever burned it though, with how attached he was to that tree! Jordan's still in the doghouse for that one!
Wish I could post pictures, but at the time I didn't think I'd want to remember this story so I never took any. We were very thankful for noticing the fire in time with how dead the grass was around the house. Looking back, my only regret is that it cost us $350 to have the tree cut down at 3 am! Other than that, it is a very memorable story and there's still an ugly stump of that tree standing by the mailbox. To dad, it's a reminder that we burned down his favorite tree. To everyone else, that stump was only ever JUST A TREE!!