An (Un)Welcome Surprise

The sound of my neighbour’s wife crying – wailing might be a better description – through my office wall caught my attention as I wrestled with trying to break the latest offering of code from my off-shore team. It was a somewhat alarming experience! I then realised that there was another noise coming from the front of the house – and the neighbour’s door was opened to loud knocking. Curiosity awakened, I wandered up to the front of the house – our neighbours are elderly and we try to keep a loose eye on them.

I’ve never been a curtain twitcher – if someone is doing something they shouldn’t I’d rather they realised I was watching them – so I pulled the curtain open to reveal a fire engine complete with blue flashing lights parked across our driveway with a hose running into next door. A couple of the fire crew were milling around by the vehicle, so presumably everything was under control.

Sticking my head outside the front door I was able to ascertain from a Fireman that both my neighbours were safe, at which point I called their youngest Daughter to appraise her of the situation. The cause of the fire was a faulty appliance which prompted a visit by the Fire investigation team. So, an Unwelcome occurance in my neighbour’s house which provided the Welcome opportunity to photograph a fire engine and one of the London Fire Brigade’s support vehicles.

Finchley Appliance DPL1198
Finchley Appliance DPL1198 stands outside after the action. It has been turned round and is facing towards the Fire Station which is around 400 yards down the hill.

Fire Investigation Unit FIV3
Fire Investigation Unit FIV3 stands across the road while the team investigate the faulty appliance.

Christmas is a particularly busy time for the Fire Fighters so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their work in protecting the community and to wish them a quiet and happy Festive Season.


  1. I’m glad your elderly neighbors are alright. It must have been very frightening to them. And it’s also good you keep an eye out for them…there’s a fine line sometimes between concern and intrusion. But it sounds like you have a good arrangement.

  2. Scary thing a fire. I commend those people who put them out for us and save those who are trapped in burning buildings. I have a deep respect for them.

    1. LoL Judith – I have lots of Fire Appliance photos. The Fire Investigation van was a bonus – not had the chance to catch one of those before! But the real bonus was that everyone was ok 🙂

    1. Hi Christine – No, we don’t need that sort of excitement. But, with Finchley Fire Station just down the road, passing Fire Appliances are a daily occurance for me and it’s always good to give them a thumbs up as they go past 🙂

  3. Yikes! As everyone has noted already that’s not really the right kind of excitement!
    Sounds like a scary moment 😦 … I’m relieved to hear that your neighbors are okay!

    1. Hi Patti – I think it’s the policy of most Fire Brigades to ensure that their vehicles are always spotless. Regular cleaning and polishing between fires used to be a normal activity for the firefighters. These days I think the paintwork is pretty dirt resistant 🙂

    1. Fortunately it was only a small fire Tony. The Brigade were on the scene very quickly (having only had to drive 400yds). Some smoke damage in the kitchen and one destroyed Ascot water heater. It must have really frightened Madhu because it caught fire when she turned it on to run some water.

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