The Misadventure of Airman Snuffy McDufflebag and Master Sgt. Johnny Mentor

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- What a weekend coming up, the first round of the Major League Baseball playoffs sparks interests around the globe, the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles renew there heated rivalry and Vivica A. Fox, Emmitt Smith and Jerry Springer sizzle on the stage during "Dancing with the Stars," by the way, my wife watches that show. I'm a man! 

Anyway with all those shows sparking up the TV airways (start singing now) let's talk about fire safety - be cool. Most of us have seen that AFN commercial telling us about fire prevention. Some people like to test fate, and learn the hard way that fire is hot, we call those people habitual line steppers at Incirlik, we call him Airman Snuffy McDufflebag. 

I saw my good buddy Master Sgt. Johnny Mentor at PT, man he looked ridiculous in those shorts, I guess I did too, but anyway he was telling me he was getting bullets for Snuffy's EPR, a firewall five no doubt, from his last base when his previous supervisor told Sergeant Mentor a story. I guess he's been habitual line stepping for a while, especially when it comes to fire safety. 

Apparently Snuffy was deep-frying Ivory-Billed Woodpecker wings and Platypus tails in his dorm room at his last base. He was hosting a P.W.E.T.A. (People Who Enjoy Tasty Animals) meeting and he wanted everything to be perfect. A girl named Summer Fire was a member of P.W.E.T.A. and he wanted to impress her. 

He lit some candles in his room to set the mood. As he finished lighting the candles he spotted Summer on the smoking deck and decided to go down and talk too her. He decided to leave his door open so he could keep an eye on his fried Eagle wings.
Snuffy got to talking to Summer and she seemed interested he thought "Oh yea, Summertime." The two sat on the smoking deck for 45 minutes talking when Snuffy decided to go in for a kiss. Snuffy was in heaven until Summer shouted "Oh my gosh, a fire," Snuffy said "Yea I feel it too baby we are on fire for each other," then she said, "No stupid, your room." 

Snuffy rushed to try and put out the flames but it was too late. Snuffy's neglect of the food he was cooking and candles had caused an estimated $4 million in damages, plus he lost his eyebrows trying to put out the flames. 

Luckily no one was seriously injured, but water used to extinguish the blaze destroyed Airmen's' possessions and waterlogged the building. Sergeant Mentor said he learned the leading cause of fires in dorms is incendiary or suspicious. 

The second and third leading causes of fires in dorm were cooking and smoking, respectively. 

Sergeant Mentor then gave me some simple tips to remember in case of a fire in a dorm. 

-- Every building has an evacuation plan. Learn it and participate in all fire drills. 

-- Learn the location of all building exits. People may have to find a way out in the dark. 

-- If people have to escape through smoke, crawl low to the exit, keeping your head one to two feet (30 to 60 centimeters) above the floor, where the air is cleanest. 

-- Test doorknobs and spaces around the door with the back of a hand. If the door is warm, try another escape route. If it's cool, open it slowly. Slam it shut if smoke pours through. 

-- Use the stairs when there's a fire; never use an elevator during a fire. 

-- If trapped, call the fire department for assistance. Seal the door with rags and signal from a window. 

-- Open windows slightly at the top and bottom, but close them if smoke comes in. 

-- Smoke alarms cut chances of dying in a fire nearly in half. Do not borrow smoke alarm batteries for other purposes. 

-- Fire sprinkler systems protect their immediate area by extinguishing or containing fires. They will not flood the whole building. 

--Respond to every alarm as if it were a real fire. Report information on false alarms to authorities. 

-- If people hear a fire alarm, they should leave immediately and close doors behind them. In case an escape from the building is blocked by fire, they should take their room keys to get back inside their room and call the fire department at 676-6152 to let the department know they are trapped. 

Well it's good to know Snuffy didn't just become a habitual line stepper at Incirlik. Hopefully if you live in the dorms and you see somebody neglecting their food you'll remember what happened to Snuffy and tell them to keep an eye on their stuff while they are cooking or have candles lit. I know I will, but as for some habitual line steppers they will never learn.