Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column wondering if Old Saint Nick got stuck in our chimney.We’re still wiping our brows, thankful we made it through an exciting New Year’s Eve when, dissatisfied with the fireworks displays at local resorts on the Big Night, we had our own show in Frisco. Huge orange flames, awe-inspiring sparks and bits of smoking debris went shooting out of our chimney, into the night sky, then fell silently down onto our 80-year-old roof. The neighbors came out, three full-length firetrucks arrived, the cops showed up and, just for good measure, an ambulance screeched to a halt in the street to enjoy the show as a blazing inferno apparently got going inside the fireplace.
That’s when we wondered if Santa was held up while delivering presents to our cabin a week ago. What else could cause such a stunning display? Well, according to the firefighters who gently trudged into the house, axes, rubber hoses and face masks that looked like riot gear in tow, pine that’s freshly killed by bark beetle doesn’t make the best wood source, because it causes creosote to build up inside a chimney.So, Mr. Claus wasn’t the culprit. It was those darn beetles again! What havoc they wreak on our community. By the way, we know it’s a pain to have cardboard pizza boxes hanging around the kitchen for days as you wonder how to dispose of them. Take our word for it, burning them in the fireplace is NOT a good idea. Oh, they burn hot – hot enough to set your creosote on fire.
With the worry about Santa put to bed, we turned our attention to the firefighters from Lake Dillon Fire Authority and the Red, White and Blue as they used all their cool toys to save our abode. We wanted a ride in the big crane hovering over the roof, but decided to not bother the crews while they were busy. Instead, we stood there wondering what possessions we’d miss if the whole thing burned to a crisp. The particularly self-satisfying news: the answer turned out to be, nothing. Our dog leashed to our side ,shivering and watching the scene – she hates fireworks – there wasn’t one single thing inside the 780-square-foot place we decided we couldn’t live without.
The show lasted about 90 minutes, when orange flames died down to make way for plumes of black smoke. Alas, we still have our stuff – shiny new cappuccino maker, 20-year-old Scrabble game, retro red lamp and all – in tact. A Santa-sized bag of wings and halos go out to the firefighters – and a special Angel Alert! Angel Alert! to Travis, the captain on duty on New Year’s Eve – who were so considerate while saving our historic cabin that they didn’t even leave a dirty boot print behind.
***It’s hump day, when nothing exciting ever happens. Tell us your favorite fireworks stories on the voicemail at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13600 or by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ve got quite a collection of cute dog photos stashed in our drawer, and somewhere on this page we’re sharing some with you today.
We’re out looking for a chimney sweep …
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