Back in 2013, the Merced Fire Department responded to a call to put out a fire that had broken out in their peaceful California town. Little did they know at the time that a series of photos taken during their heroic battle with the blaze would go on to achieve viral status and continue to produce chuckles from Internet users to this day.
So what was so special about this particular inferno? Was it the fact that the flaming building ended up to be a marijuana grow house? Or perhaps the understandable antics that could have ensued due to the effects of 3,000 individual marijuana plants going up in flames? Impressive as it may be to imagine, the answer is no. At the end of the day, the accidental star of the disaster turned out to be the genius driver who decided it’d be an awesome idea to leave his car parked right in front of the fire hydrant utilized to put out the flames.
As you can see in the series of unfortunate photographs below, it turns out that parking in front of hydrants has been ill-advised for years due to reasons that extend far beyond avoiding a parking ticket.
As Don Long of the Merced Fire Department described the incident to CNN , “I heard this loud glass crash and I turned around. And I saw my engineer throwing a hose through the center of a car.”
Mr. Long went on to explain that keeping a fire hose straight is of the utmost importance when putting out a fire, emphasizing that even the smallest kink could affect the flow of water used to put out a flaming building. As demonstrated here, engineers are not shy about clearing a path for the blocked hose if necessary, even if it means threading it right through an offending car’s windows.
Not only was a ticket pretty much a given for the careless parker, his car’s resulting look was a little less than flattering. As one observer remarked to CNN upon examining the scene, “It looks like a giant squid is trying to eat a guy in a car.”
So what can we learn from this driver faux pas? As tempting as it may be to avoid the few extra steps a further parking spot may entail, taking one for the team, your car, and your online reputation is highly advised when considering parking in a fire zone. When it comes to putting out fires, firemen around the country tend to cut corners for no one.