Fire at the Watervliet Water Tower

I live in an apartment building in Watervliet/Latham. I have lived in the same apartment building since April 2004. I like it. There have been various points when I probably should have stopped liking it.

One of the things I will use this blog for is to share some stories of times where my opinion of this place should have changed. We’ll call these posts “wherederryXlives”. I started a few weeks ago when I posted some pictures of things you’d only find in my apartment complex. (Post 1Post 2, Post 3)


August 17, 2010

I spent my evening relaxing around my apartment. I had watched Rocky IV on Blu Ray and cooked myself some really kick-ass French bread pizza with pesto, fresh mozzarella, and pepperoni. I had a crazy debate over whether I should watch Rocky V and, in turn, ruin my night, or if I should fill the rest of my night with Three Stooges short films.

I went with Rocky V. The popular opinion on this movie is that it is a poor film that had all the right intentions and all the wrong execution.

Regardless, I was going about my night. Part of the way through Rocky V, I had a few spoonfuls of Ben and Jerry’s Milk and Cookies Ice Cream. It’s a new flavor that I think is absolutely incredible.

With about 20 minutes left in the film, I heard a lot of commotion out of my front window. This was the point in the movie where Tommy Gunn wins the title but refuses to thank Rocky Balboa for his help. Being that this was as good a time as any to pause the film, I did just that and went to look out my window. There were firetrucks lined up as far as the eye can see.

If you have ever looked out of my living room window, you will know that if you look the left, you will see nothing but a big tree, but if you look to the right, you can see a large portion of the parking lot and road leading to my building.

I started to realize that the commotion was coming from firemen entering and exiting my building. So I moved my viewing operation to the apartment door. As soon as I opened the door, I caught that whiff of burnt food, and I could see the convection of the wind blowing the smoke around the hallway.

Literally 8 firemen walked right past me before it occurred to me that I was going to have to explicitly ask these guys what was going on. But I didn’t. I thought it would be more fun to take a look at my surroundings and arrive at my own story.

Here’s a list of what I saw:

  • a large plume of smoke coming from the apartment directly next door to mine
  • multiple firemen around my age walking outside giving each other high fives as if they just defeated the UFC heavyweight champion
  • a weird old woman who I never saw before sitting outside on the steps in front of my apartment, uncontrollably shaking a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper folded in half longitudinally
  • A fireman having a cigarette in the back of the building
  • The fire extinguisher in my hallway was missing
  • A Troy firetruck literally pull in to the complex and turn around

Here’s my interpretation of what happened:

The old woman snuck or broke into the apartment next to mine and was cooking something disgusting. At some point, that gross shit set fire. She did whatever she could to extinguish the fire, but decided it was best to call the Troy fire department. Being that this is Latham/Watervliet, Watervliet FD responded to the call but forgot to inform Troy FD.

Watervliet firemen are 100% testosterone. One guy ripped the extinguisher off of the wall, ran inside and extinguished the fire on the first try. And he did it in the style of Rambo. AAHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Then he ran outside with the other firemen and celebrated with high fives. One fireman couldn’t figure out how to put the fire out, so he said, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” and snuck out back for a cigarette.

While all this was happening, the old woman decided to look distressed and start shaking, but not until she folded the piece of paper that she was holding so as to obscure any evidence. On this piece of paper was the recipe that she was cooking. And that recipe was…

fried cauliflower. (I only chose that because of how terrible it smelled)

What do you think the weird old woman who doesn’t live there was cooking?


2 thoughts on “Fire at the Watervliet Water Tower

  • Keith

    The piece of paper was a break up letter from her young boyfriend, who recently figured out she was broke, and not the sugar mama he originally thought her to be.

    After getting the letter, she tried to do what any spurned lover would: she tried showing him what a valuable asset she was to his life, regardless of being thirty years his elder and possessing no monetary supplement to his painstaking endeavors with her wrinkled snatch.

    She was watching a lot of Les Stroud and tried her hand at starting a fire with twigs, but when that failed, she just sprayed WD40 all over a skillet and cooked a phone book.

    Instead of trying to extinguish the fire once she realized her mistake, she decided to stay in the room and die. Your neighbors smelled smoke and called 911. They exaggerated because if they could smell the smoke, it must be an extremely large fire, and they dispatched firemen accordingly.

    • derryX

      Very good, but it doesn’t describe why the fire fighters high fived or why one guy decided to just smoke behind the building.

      I like that wd40/phonebook thing. Haha


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