Tuesday, November 26, 2013

One In A Million
Usually it’s a good thing to be one in a million….I’m sure it depends upon the circumstance that ”your one in a million” opportunity arises such as winning the lottery, winning the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes, winning a make-over but when it comes down to nearly BLOWING UP COSTCO!  I don’t think that’s what they had in mind when someone “coined” that phrase!  Nonetheless I am One In A Million today.  You see the experience that happened to me today is “one in a million”….. So they tell me. 

Do I have your attention for a moment?  Today started out great.  I was up and ready by 9:30 a.m., I had my list of things “to do” to prepare for Thanksgiving in hand and was happy to be getting such an early start on my day. 

Everything was going so well and the morning uneventful as I happily went down my list checking of each item with great satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment:
ü  Deliver items to kids at Jr. High and High School.  Check
ü  Deliver Posters to be hung announcing the URB Nutcracker performance.  Check
ü  Pick up new reading material from library “Heaven Is Here” by Stephanie Nielson (this is will have a unique part to play in my day….read on)    Check
ü  Pick up last minute menu ingredients from Macey’s. Check
ü  Get gas at Costco…….ummm, check but not without a little excitement to keep everyone on their toes.

This is where things get a little interesting and the excitement all began.  I pulled into Costco in Spanish Fork to the far south pump.  I turned off the car and stepped out to begin pumping gas into my car.  Everything’s good so far. 

You know when they post signs that instruct you to abstain from certain activities while pumping gas such as NO TALKING ON YOUR CELL PHONE or NO SMOKING (dah) or REMAIN OUTSIDE YOUR VEHICLE while pumping gas….H E L L O!  THERE IS A DEFINATE REASON AND IT IS FOR YOUR SAFETY! 

I have never been one to really pay attention to these instructions until today!  Apparently the static electricity or obvious explosive substances present when the instructions are other-wise ignored can be very dangerous and even deadly! 

I got the pump started to fuel my tank.  It was a little chilly this morning so I innocently stepped back into my warm cozy vehicle to put my credit card and Costco card back into my purse and to wait for the allotted purchase of gas to finish. 

I innocently opened the car door to step out of the vehicle, turned toward the pump and to my astonishment and horror saw a huge orange fireball shooting out of my gas tank!  My car was on fire! 

Holy crap!  I’m sorry to say that that is not the word that first came to mind but we’ll keep this a G rated version in case my Bishop reads this!  J  In that moment I tried to stay calm and to think what to do as I’m watching the orange fireball of flames shooting out of my gas tank along with the intense heat from the flames.  I kept telling myself think….think…think….Oh yes where is the fire extinguisher?  Ah right there….Oh Crap!  Again not the first word that came to mind….it’s locked!  H E L L O!  I think about this now and get a good laugh….that is what the little silver “do hicky” on the end of the chain is for.  I grab the little silver “do hicky” and began pounding out the glass with all the gusto I could mustar. 

I retrieved the fire-extinguisher from the red case and turned toward my car and could not remember how to use the dang thing!  There was a vehicle behind me waiting their turn to fuel after me.  The gentleman was older and jumped out of the car and began trying to extinguish the blazing fire with his ball cap!  Oh know this isn't good I thought.  I then screamed there’s a fire here!  As I’m screaming for help the older gentleman concludes that the ball cap is not going to cut the mustard so he proceeds to yank the hose out of my gas tank!  All the while the hose a blaze with flames!  Oh man!  This is how it happens I think, just like that.  I had visions of explosions and terrible events about to transpire when I was brought back to the moment as the gas station attendant begins yelling “Everyone RUN!”  “Run!”  “Get away from the pumps!”  Every pump had a car being fueled!  I then hear a voice coming from the minivan next to me “wait!” “My babies are in the car!” 

Oh man!  Luckily she is able to grab her toddler and baby in an infant seat out of the vehicle all the while instructing her toddler to run! Run! There’s a fire! 

I’m still holding the fire extinguisher running toward the car then running away from my car, and in the next moment a gentleman hollars “give me that” referring to the fire-extinguisher uselessly being held in my hand.  I gladly hand over the device to him and within seconds he has the fire extinguished. 

My heart is pounding in my head, my throat is soar, my legs are like spaghetti I’m numb.  What the heck just happened?  How did it happen? 

The next thing I hear sirens blazing in the air.  I’m surrounded by people asking what happened and if I’m okay. 

I then think about Steve, my husband, I should call him.  He should know about this.  So I ring his phone and inquire where he is.  He’s in Payson I proceed to tell him that he may want to come over to Costco because the car caught fire. 

As I speak to the police, the fire department and the Costco people to give them the information they need Steve pulls up.  I can tell that was a long ride for him. 

Steve proceeds to take photos for our records.  I’m given copies of the reports.  And I’m told that my vehicle is okay to move.  Um, really?  You want me to get back in that thing?  I was really, really nervous about getting in and turning the ignition.  But I was assured that it was fine. 

A gentleman from Costco, I believe he is like a manager or something, said in my twenty five years I’ve never seen anything like this.  I said really?  Well, don’t I feel special.  We got a good laugh.  But my heart was still fluttering.  I then said whatever you do just don’t post the video surveillance footage on you-tube.  He assured that I needn’t worry about that.  J

Getting back to the items on my “to do” list where I stopped at the library to get Stephanie Nielson’s book about her story.  Mind you this is the gal who was in a terrible plane crash and was severely burned over 80 percent of her body!  How crazy is that?  Should I be nervous? 

On a more serious note I am so grateful that everything turned out okay in the end.  Everyone is safe and minimal damage done to my vehicle. 

So what can we learn from this?  When instructions are given to ensure the safety of you and others DO WHAT THEY INSTRUCT YOU TO DO PERIOD!  J

So let’s review:
ü  Touch the outside of your car on metal to disperse the static electricity you may transmit before pumping gas.
ü  Stay off your cell phone when pumping gas
ü  Smoke else where
ü  Stay out of your vehicle until pumping gas is complete

Just one last thought, in Sunday school this past week we were given the challenge to be aware of Heavenly Father’s tender mercies. I’m grateful to a loving Heavenly Father who was obviously watching out for all of us at that gas station today.   I think I can say that I fulfilled that challenge!  In fact I’m going to put it in the “Modern Day Miracle category!” 

With Grattitude

Danie Jolley 

Only 161 reports of this type of fire reported between 2000 to 2004!  That is how rare these types of fires are but they happen so protect yourself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grQYr507r_A

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