Ben and Hogan were working the front desk this particular evening. Ben was playing video games and Hogan was writing a thesis titled “Currency, Inflation, Social Engineering and Why I Need a Break”. It was quiet until the phone rang and Hogan answered. The person on the other end, who was an employee of the Marriott said, “We just dialed 911. There is a fire behind your building.”
Hogan, who had no inflection in his voice, ever, said “Thanks for the call”. He hung up, looked at Ben and said “The pools on fire”. Ben jumped to his feet knocking over his chair and ran out the lobby screaming “You call Rob and I’ll tell Greg!” To this day, I don’t know why he didn’t just call me.
Hogan picked up the phone and dialed Robs cell number. There was no answer on the other end so he just left a message. “Good evening Rob. This is Hogan at the front desk. The pools on fire. Other than that, everything is normal”, and he hung up.
I went to the pool in what I would consider a fast, walking pace (I was trotting) wondering how that pool water started on fire (I’m originally from the Cleveland area). I arrived and was almost relieved to see the men’s changing room was totally engulfed in flames.
I had to deduce that the flames were being fed by the natural gas and turning off the valve should slow the burn. The fire department hadn’t even arrived so I thought I would take things into control. I didn’t have a flashlight when I went below the decking area to find the gas valve. First thing that happened was a confrontation with an old pipe in the dark. I walked right into it and it didn’t give an inch. I fell on my derriere and exclaimed “THAT’S GOING TO LEAVE A x!!x!#! MARK.” I persisted and crawled through the rumble and dirt to get to the valve. I could see now because the wood deck was on fire above me and it was giving off plenty of light (and heat).
I thought to myself, self “Who in the hell do you think you are? Antonio Bandarus? What in the world are you doing down here?” I got to the valve and turned it off, went back up to the deck and the Fire Department had arrived to save the day. I felt the blood flowing down my face from the losing battle with the pipe below and then I heard an officer in blue yell at me to “Get Back Now!”
He turned to his comrades and yelled to them “Does anyone know where the gas shut off valve is?”………..