Thousands of years ago, mankind discovered the benefits of fire. Fire used for cooking food increased digestibility, and fires also provided warmth. Millennia later, fires provided the heat necessary for steam engines, fueling the industrial revolution.
Yet, since the beginning, the threat of injury or death from fire has been recognized. In fact, execution by burning at the stake was reserved for those considered most threatening or detestable. And fires destroyed important portions of ancient Rome and Enlightenment London.
With this vast awareness of and experience with fire, one might conclude that modern society has eliminated its threat. But two news stories on Thursday demonstrate otherwise.
One was a simple account of a burning building. The two-alarm blaze raged through a warehouse in the 11,000 block of West Little York. Risking their lives as they do regularly, fire fighters controlled the blaze and no injuries have been reported.
The second news item was far more disturbing. Evidently, an internet fad among the youth involves a young person dousing himself with alcohol while in the shower, and then setting himself on fire. The “game” is called “Fire Challenge.” Media accounts reported that 14 year old Michael Symonette, of Crosby, did so recently. He ended up with second-degree burns. Warning others, his mother explained that it is not funny or cute, and now her son is racked with pain and scars.
The benefits provided by fire are incalculable. But so are the threats. Even in 2014, we must take them seriously.
If you or someone you know have been injured in a fire due the negligent act of another, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or 800-594-4884.