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  • About twenty years ago I was living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan on the top floor of a seven story building. One Saturday afternoon I smelled smoke in my apartment and walked out to the hallway where the smell was even stronger. I went back in my apartment and called 911. The NYFD came quickly and discovered that someone burned their food and decided to share it with the rest of the building. I found the lieutenant on the scene and told him I had made the call and aplogized for the fact that it turned out to be for nothing.

    He took me aside and told me “If you have the slightest concern that there may be a fire, we want you to call us. Never apologize for doing that. This is our job, to keep these things from getting worse. If you feel reluctant to call, who knows what might happen.”

    I’ll never forget that.

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