Submitted by MisanthropicCeliac t3_z51tgv in tifu

My husband (43M) and I (41F) bought our current home about 15 months ago. Our house is a split-level, so our back porch is attatched to the second story. There are mature trees on the property line that divide us from the neighbors, but now that the leaves have fallen, we can see directly into their backyard from our porch. I am a smoker, so I spend a lot of time out there.

Our neighbors got chickens this past spring. Since the leaves were already back on the trees when they arrived, we couldn't actually see the chickens until a few weeks ago. Instead of a traditional, permanent coop, they have what looks like a pull-behind trailer on wheels with a truck cap/shell as the roof. The coop is up off the ground and has ramps. The chickens have some straw as bedding, and a heatlamp for the cold nights. The neighbors have been turning the lamp on recently, and my husband and I have been having endless fun with it. Before the leaves fell completely, the red glow of the lamp looked like a portal to hell had opened in the neighbor's yard. Now that we have a full view of the coop, we can see when the lamp is on before the coop doors are closed for the night. Because of the shape of the coop and the straw bedding, it looks like a nativity scene of chickens when they all huddle up in there. When we saw a single chicken alone and illuminated under the light, we were quipping about Animal Farm monologues at open-mike night, and doing bad voice-overs as if the chicken were a comedian saying things like, "...and she said I was a pecker!" Needless to say, we like the chickens.

My FU happened this evening after I decided to take a nap after eating Thanksgiving leftovers for dinner. I woke up at nearly eight pm, and it was dark outside. After I got out of bed, I gathered my coat and cigarettes to go out on the porch. I groggily waved at my husband who was on the computer. I stepped outside, and glanced around before I opened whatever bullshit I was gonna look at on Reddit. Not only was the chicken coop glowing red from the heatlamp, but it was ON FIRE! I was so dazed from just waking up that I didn't trust myself. I threw open the door, and shouted to my husband, "Hey! Are the chickens on fire!? There's a fire! Are the neighbor's chickens on fire!?" He jumped up and ran towards me and the door, looked outside, and said, "Yeah! The chickens are on fire!" We ran back into the house where I was expecting my husband to grab his phone and call the husband that lives next door because I don't have their numbers. Instead, my husband just ran away from me, and down into the first level of the house without saying a word. I had been vertical for all of 90 seconds and my brain said, "Okay! I guess I'm going to the neighbor's house!".

I ran down the stairs and out my front door, and sprinted to the neighbor's front door. Their backyard is fully fenced and 6ft tall, and while I know where the gate is, I didn't think it was okay to just go through it, despite there being, you know, A FIRE! I knocked loudly and repeadedly to indicate the urgency of the situation.

Their dog was going crazy, and then their 13 year-old son cracked the door. Our exchange went like this:

Me: "Hey, (his name)! Are your chickens on fire!?"

13: "What?"

Me: "ARE YOUR CHICKENS ON FIRE!? There's a fire in your backyard!"

13: "What!?"

Thankfully, 13's dad, the next-door husband that I thought my husband was going to call, shows up at the door and wants to know what is happening. The dog is still going off, and the door has been fully opened to illuminate me in the dark, and all my disheveled, puffy-faced ass can say is, "Are your chickens on fire!?" There's a fire in your backyard! ARE YOUR CHICKENS ON FIRE!?"

Next door husband is so calm and kind. He politely informs me that yes, there is a fire in the backyard. His wife is out there with the gas firepit, so no, the chickens are not on fire.

I apologized for so rudely bursting in on their evening, and they assured me that everything is fine. I turned to go home and allow my heart rate to return to normal, when I saw my husband standing in the neighbor's driveway. He was holding the fire extinguisher from our laundry room. He had already gone through the gate and spoken to the next-door wife, knew everything was fine, and was just waiting for me. As we walked back, my husband made sure to ask me, "Hey, are your chickens on fire?"

TL;DR I thought my neighbor's chicken coop was on fire. It was their fire pit.



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PracticalApartment99 t1_ixtt5m9 wrote

That’s not a fuck-up. At least your neighbors know that you’ve got their back.


HarryPottersElbows t1_ixup5iy wrote

Seriously, I'd feel reassured. My neighbors could see me stop drop and rolling on fire in the hallway, and I know those bastards would just step over me like 'not my business'.


themom4235 t1_ixv3pyc wrote

My neighbors would hope my pups and I were on fire.


Jacktheforkie t1_ixv7pmo wrote

Definitely, I’ve helped extinguish several fires in my street, during a hot summer compost piles randomly combusted


SithRose t1_ixtu2ng wrote

Look, which do you think your neighbor would prefer? You checking, albeit in a rather frantic sort of way, or you ignoring a potential coop fire? Chickens are highly flammable.

Not a fuck-up. You did the right thing. And I speak as someone who has, in fact, had to put out a fire in my neighbor's front yard. (His kid's wheeled hovercraft thing sparked up and started exploding.)


Sipyloidea t1_ixv9yia wrote

The "chickens are highly flammable" bit had me laughing out loud.


Witty_Comfortable404 t1_ixwcgov wrote

I was eating smarties when I read that and just about choked on them. I’m assuming in 48-72 hours, I’m going to have some pretty colourful poop 💩


SithRose t1_ixwma0z wrote

Sorry not sorry, LOL. :) One of my hobbies is feather-based decorations. Sometimes I have to sear fabric. I've learned to use the wood-burner not the lighter. :) Feathers and open flames mix...poorly.


_jeremybearimy_ t1_ixva9gs wrote

Yup! As someone from a Drought prone state, OP just proved themselves a good neighbor. Smokers, ironically, are in good positions to spot stuff like this.

My mom used to sit on her back porch and smoke. One night around midnight she saw a fire, the neighbors backyard kitty corner from our backyard was in flames! She called 911 and then ran down to our yard, grabbed the hose, and started spraying down the corner where the four fences met so the whole block didn’t go up in flames. Fire dept was 5 blocks away so they showed up quick and the fire was already out - my mom had put it out with her hose! Neighbors weren’t home so without my mom it could have been bad. I forget what caused the fire but some sort of malfunction or accident. She’s a hero!


SithRose t1_ixwldaz wrote

Indeed, I live in a desert myself and that hovercraft would have set their big mesquite on fire with the sparks it was throwing. The mesquite that touched their house. This is what neighbors should do. I'd rather wake up to fire trucks and a fire that's out than wake up to smoke and flames!


mayonnaise30 t1_ixttgbe wrote

Omg this would be me and I’d also be high which would make it worse


dubbzy104 t1_ixtvss7 wrote

Exactly, I’d be out for a different smoke break… and then too paranoid to say anything


mayonnaise30 t1_ixtvxig wrote

Probably crying because I’m sure the chickens are dead but I’m too scared to go over lol


azewonder t1_ixuhmc9 wrote

Haha I did something similar once. I saw what I thought was a ton of smoke coming from the neighbor’s garage. My ex said “I’m pretty sure that’s the dryer vent” (it was cold out that night). I still went running over, frantically knocked on their door, and pointed out the huge plume of “smoke”. They verified that it was in fact the dryer. I went slinking back home where my ex was cracking up at me


fire_thorn t1_ixuj8ns wrote

It could just as easily have been a fire, though. My mom went outside to look for her cat one night at 3am and saw that her neighbor's garage was on fire. She woke them up, they all got out and called the fire department. There was only minor damage to the garage. They treat my mom like she's their favorite person in the whole world now


Jacktheforkie t1_ixv7wp8 wrote

The other week I came home to use the toilet and ended up alerting my neighbours to literal fire shooting out of the chimney


SithRose t1_ixwlq9r wrote

That wasn't a bad thing and I'm glad he's now your ex. I've seen a house burn down COMPLETELY from a dryer fire. The house was literally down the block from me. I gave the poor owner a skirt and shirt so she'd have something more than pajamas. Better to be over cautious when it comes to dryer vents, they're one of the two most common causes of house fires!


WifeofBath1984 t1_ixueu9d wrote

"Are your chickens on fire?!?!" 🤣🤣🤣


harleyspoison267 t1_ixusk5s wrote

When I was a kid, i was zoning out looking out the sliding door while doing homework at the kitchen table. I saw smoke coming from a house behind us that has a bush by their back garage door. Soon it started turning into Moses and the burning bush. My mom ran over with her tiny extinguisher meant for small kitchen fires and put it out, and the neighbors didn't even seem that grateful. The wife went to the back door to smoke and flicked her not completely extinguished bud into the bush next to the door.


Renaissance_Slacker t1_ixuwotp wrote

I would love to know the cost to society of all the fires caused by smokers. I’m sure it’s horrific.


harleyspoison267 t1_ixvgefa wrote

My fiance is from the southwest (LA originally, then many years in Phoenix), so he takes the whole cigarette thing very seriously. I live in Ohio where that stuff is pretty uncommon so people throw their butts out the car all the time and he gets so upset because that causes major fires all the time in the southwest.


SithRose t1_ixwlvbp wrote

I had an old water bottle for butts even in Ohio and Kentucky because I grew up in Colorado. I get it. It bugs me too.


harleyspoison267 t1_ixwnw1l wrote

Oh yeah, y'all are absolutely right. It's illegal here to throw them out the window too, i just never realized the real consequences before. Most people i knew growing up threw cigs out the window at least on occasion.


SithRose t1_ixwq6po wrote

It's not something you see the consequences of so vividly in the east. Watching a single spark-shower from a malfunctioning transformer within 20 feet of me cause a 4 acre fire to start *despite* me trying to stop it and then grabbing as many of the people whose houses backed up onto that bit of wild space to help defend the fences while the fire department arrived when I was 12ish had a very strong effect on me.


harleyspoison267 t1_ixwqm8l wrote

Oh wow, I'm sorry, that sounds deeply traumatic. I look back on how i grew up with very little fire safety but we just didn't really ever need it, and also got lucky, I imagine.


SithRose t1_ixwrv8e wrote

Well, of all the 12 year olds in the neighborhood, I was probably the best equipped for it to happen to, at least? :) (I got a lot of wilderness survival training...which included fire response.)


harleyspoison267 t1_ixwx7yk wrote

A wilderness explorer eh? Is your name Russel perchance?


SithRose t1_ixwxfen wrote

😆 Let's just say that this was well before Pixar, much less UP. 😀


-Immolation- t1_ixuv8cm wrote

I guess you can call it a "fuck up" but a good/wholesome one at that. I wouldn't be mad and would be stoked you were my neighbor


NerdHerder77 t1_ixvu9vs wrote

"Bless their hearts, them's good folks." Seriously, I'd make you guys some fresh baked pastries for that kind gesture.


redsmashingoasis t1_ixw6xwu wrote

Honestly this just reminds me when I drunkenly checked work cameras and thought the kilns were on fire, called my boss, and he informed me it was just the light on the post in front of the kiln.... ¯_(ツ)_/¯