A Time When I Was Being Courageous
by Lindsey Tan (P6 2022)
The smell of acrid smoke wafted into my nose and it jolted me awake. I stifled a yawn as I arose from my deep sleep slumber in a state of stupefaction. Just what is the time? Crawling out of bed, I opened the bedroom door, only for the horrific realisation to hit me like a twenty-pound sledgehammer. The kitchen was engulfed in ferocious flames, and the foul smell of smoke continued to corrupt my nose.
All the colour was drained from my face as I witnessed the devastation. I was as still as a statue for a few moments then and my heart pounded rapidly in my chest. Dense smoke from the kitchen blurred my vision as I tried to recover from my shock. Then, my fight-or-flight response kicked in instinctively. I knew I had to leave immediately but not without… my cat!
“Gin… ger…” I cried between coughs as I desperately searched the house for my precious cat. Unfortunately, it was to no avail. Tears welled up in my eyes and trailed down my cheeks. What should I do? My parents had just left for work that morning and I was all alone at home. Waves of panic overwhelmed me and I decided that I should extinguish the fire by myself in order to find my pet. At once, I grabbed a bucket and filled it with water.
Splash! I threw the bucket of water onto the engulfing flames. However, to my horror, the flames grew bigger! This time, the raging fire was approaching my bedroom. Oh no… Was this an electrical fire? I thought. At that point, a pool of tears was flooding my eyes as I searched for answers to my life-threatening problem. Just then, I remembered what my teacher had told me: If you encounter a dangerous situation, you have to remain calm and find a rational solution. With no time to waste, I took deep breath as I racked my brain and tried to find practical solutions. That’s it! The fire extinguisher!
In the blink of an eye, I dashed off to the bomb shelter to grab the fire extinguisher. With swift motions, I opened the nozzle and went straight to the kitchen. Psst! As I pumped the fire extinguisher desperately, white puffs of spray shrouded the kitchen and the flames gradually lessened. Slowly, the fire died out. Thankfully, I found my cat, Ginger, cowering under my dining table, trembling in fear. Seeing her unharmed, I heaved a sigh of relief and ran over to hug my cat. It mewed softly in my arms as I was overwhelmed with gratitude that we had escaped unscathed. I did it! I had managed to stop the fire! However, some parts of the kitchen were badly charred, and I had inhaled an unhealthy amount of smoke in my attempt to put out the fire.
Just then, my front door clicked open, and I whipped my head around. A team of fireman and police officers, along with my parents and the next-door neighbour, barged in. Their anxious faces relaxed when they saw me safe and sound in the hallway, hugging my cat. I recounted the incident in detail to the police officers who carefully inspected the remains of my house.
Upon investigation, the fire department concluded that the fire was indeed an electrical fire caused by a faulty power switch which had exploded. My quick-thinking neighbour had smelled smoke while I was battling the fire and had called the police, fire brigade and my parents. Upon learning about the incident, my parents rushed home immediately. When my parents and police officers heard about my courageous act, they praised me for my bravery and said that I had handled the situation well. I was as proud as a peacock and pleased with myself for what I had done.
Through that traumatising experience, I learnt that in any dangerous situation, I had to remain calm, and that I should try my best to resolve the problem rationally, even under challenging circumstances. That incident has taught me a great lesson and my courageous act will remain etched in my mind.