When the two worst things in the world collide

I hate shopping at Wal-Mart.  I do because it’s the closest store to my house, and it doesn’t make sense to me to drive a mile or more to the next nearest grocery store when Wal-Mart is in walking distance. Not that I walk.  It’s at the bottom of a hill, dammit, and I know I could make it there okay, I’m just not sure I could make it back carrying groceries.

I also have the biggest case of pyrophobia of anyone I know. Any fire bigger than a candle flame terrifies me.  I can handle campfires and fires in a fireplace (especially if they are gas log) but bonfires? Fuggitaboutit. I know it all came about as a result of the requisite field trip to the firehouse that I took in kindergarten.  It also didn’t help that in the next few years the mountains around my house burned.

So, has anyone put together what happened when I was grocery shopping at Wal-Mart today?

I was proud of myself for getting there in the morning, but cursing that I waited so long.  I found a good parking spot, and spent 45 minutes carefully comparing prices and choosing what I needed.  Then, on they way up to the check-stand, I overheard the chatter on the employee’s radio saying there was a fire, and the store had to be evacuated.  Crap. No, actually, shit.

A few moments later, the PA called a code red, and said that all the employees had to come to the front of the store.  About five seconds after that, a guy who sounded like he was about 17 came over the PA announcing a “small emergency, please abandon your baskets and exit the store.”

I was proud of my composure as I made my way to my amazing parking spot, and headed out of the store.  I figured maybe it wasn’t a fire when the first emergency vehicle on the scene was an ambulance–maybe someone had gotten hurt (I was actually rooting for someone to have gotten hurt rather than there being a fire–does that make me a bad person?)  My composure was then shattered when a firetruck, sirens blaring and lights flashing came speeding by–and honked when it was parallel to my car.  I’m still shaking–and fighting back tears.

I let you know if I find out anything more about the fire.  Hopefully, it was small, and they’ll be able to open the store again soon–but the number of sirens that I’ve heard heading toward Wal-Mart kind of point against that.

Okay, I’m off to see if I can calm down now.  Wish me luck.


Well, now I feel dumb.

According to the Daily Herald, something burnt in an oven, causing smoke.  The evacuation was per store policy.


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