By Nate Odenkirk | Staff Writer
Fireman at Nashville, Tennessee’s Station No. 13 are standing at the ready to save a burning home once a bipartisan agreement is reached between the fire and the occupants trapped inside. “We’re feeling fairly good about the talks so far,” said fire chief Howard Marks as flames raged in the residential home. “We can’t rush this.”
After nearly 48 hours of intense discussion, the fire and the home’s occupants remain at a critical impasse, however. The fire is sticking with its demands to continue its destruction, and the people inside refuse to budge on the “not dying” clause. “We all agree there’s a crisis going on,” said the fire chief as the living room erupted in flames. “It’s a crisis of one-sided thinking.” Talks inside the house had to be moved three times, after the fire destroyed the room the negotiations were held in. “I really want to commend the fire for negotiating in good faith,” said Chief Marks.
The stakes are high: There are three people trapped in the home, not counting a fourth who has become the lead negotiator. The Inquirist did not get a chance to interview anyone inside the burning home, because of their situation. But one can imagine how thankful they are that the firemen are getting the fire’s perspective, for once.
“Lots of people are saying we should just save the people inside because it’s an emergency,” said Fireman Gary Lass, who stood on the lawn as the charred roof caved in. “But I think the bigger emergency is not listening to both sides.” Should talks (much like the roof) fall through, some are arguing for a lifesaving rescue to take place anyway, a plan that was quickly shot down. “Could we go in and fix the problem immediately? Yes. But we need to hear the fire out. We have nothing but time. Just calm down and breathe a little,” said Chief Marks. “Well, don’t breathe, because the air is poison now.”
At press time, the blaze has since engulfed the kitchen and upstairs coat closet, increasing pressure on the occupants to strike a deal. ♦