BY ROSS FARLEY, BAYSIDE RESIDENT
Guy Fawkes Night was coming up, and my younger brother was sick and confined indoors. He had purchased his treasured fireworks, and a school friend visited with his fireworks. Dad was home with a migraine, and I was a teenager in my room downstairs studying for exams. The temptation was too much, and the two boys started lighting fireworks and throwing them out of the bedroom window.
Someone accidentally dropped a lit cracker in one of the cardboard boxes containing the fireworks. My study was interrupted by what sounded like a war. I raced upstairs and, when I finally opened the bedroom door, was obstructed by the two boys trying to get out.
Two boxes of fireworks were burning, and fireworks were going off everywhere. Skyrockets were shooting across the ceiling, hitting the walls, fishtailing, and changing direction before crossing the ceiling to other walls. The curtains, bedspread and bed were all on fire, and the room was full of smoke.
I raced downstairs and filled buckets with water, which I tipped on the burning boxes of fireworks. At this stage, one of the boys started punching me and yelling, “You wet my crackers!” but I continued throwing buckets of water and put the fires out. (Fortunately, it was natural fabrics that caught fire and not the flammable synthetics of later years).
By this time, the whole house was full of thick smoke, and Dad emerged, had a look, and went back to bed with his migraine. Eventually, Mum came home, inspected the damage, and found Dad lying in bed giggling at the train of events. He could see the funny side of anything.