I took our van in for an oil change today and with some time to kill decided to take a little walk in downtown Lethbridge. I had just crossed the street when I noticed a little girl in a truck holding a napkin that was fully engulfed in flames. Her eyes were wide and I thought about how crazy this scenario was as I raced up, opened the door, and watched her drop the flaming napkin onto the truck floor. I swished the fiery cinders out trying not to burn myself but not wasting any time. She looked like she was in about grade three (8 years old).
I asked where her parent was and she said inside the store, so I went inside the motorcycle shop and asked around. One employee told me that the guy from that truck was test driving a bike and has been gone for a long time — like a half hour.
I talked to the girl again making sure she was ok and asked how it started which she explained was that she was playing with the cigarette lighter and accidentally started the napkin on fire.
After talking with a lady who works there that said she would keep her eyes on the truck I took the above photo of my hand and continued my walk.
I guess I probably did the wrong thing by just walking away at this point and not calling the police. This parent obviously needs to get it together, however, I also have distrust issues with our local law enforcers and I didn’t want to be the potential catalyst that blows up this guy’s life. I did consider that maybe this little girl’s caregiver needs a wake up call to realize you don’t leave an elementary aged child alone in a running vehicle (with air conditioning at least) for a half hour while she experiments with fire.
I doubled back after about 15 minutes of guilt and she and the truck were gone. A couple of my fingers are a little burned but no blisters so I’m fine.
My oil change was done at that point so I came home a hero — and also, I guess, a coward.