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Is it OK to let kids run around wildly with flaming, gasoline-doused torches?

  • Sure, I let my kids do it all the time!

    Votes: 6 3.2%
  • Well, I wouldn't let my kids do it but I don't have a problem with the next-door neighbors doing it.

    Votes: 3 1.6%
  • No way! That's too dangerous.

    Votes: 165 88.7%
  • I wonder what they will think of next.

    Votes: 32 17.2%
  • Why worry, it all turned out OK!

    Votes: 4 2.2%
  • Other.

    Votes: 5 2.7%
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Discussion Starter #1
So, I came home a few hours ago, looked out the window to see if my (teenage) ds was around, and saw that my next-door neighbor's kids (one is a young teen and the other a few years younger) were running around their yard with flaming torches. (My ds was there too, but he didn't have one, he was sitting there watching them.) They had a good-size fire going a little bit behind their house, say if it was about three feet closer it would have been under their second-floor deck.<br><br>
Now when I say flaming torches, I mean sticks about four feet long, a couple of inches thick, with a ball of flame on the end about the size of a soccer ball. And running around wildly, brandishing the torches. Then one of them ran into my yard and across the stone steps to my back door, so he was waving the torch around (and running full speed ahead, but looking behind him, not in the direction he was running) approximately a foot from my house, which happens to be made of wood, as theirs is.<br><br>
So I stepped outside and asked them if they had a parent at home with them. They said yes, and "she lets us do this". I told them that they couldn't do it in my yard, and explained to them a couple of my reasons why I thought it was a bad idea in general (someone could get hurt, they could start a house fire, and so on). As I was standing there talking to them, their mom came outside.<br><br>
Haven't seen her in a while (they mainly live elsewhere, this is their second home) so we started chatting while I watched her kids continue to run around with the torches. I felt I had lost my position to lecture her kids anymore since she was standing right there, and obviously could see them, and thought it was acceptable. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
I was sort of wondering why there was a roll of toilet paper unfurled in their back yard, but it wasn't long before I found out what that was for. The older kid, whose torch had gone out, wrapped a big wad of toilet paper around the end of the stick, poured gasoline on it from a can, and lit it up again. Then his brother's torch went out, and he wrapped the end of that in toilet paper and <b>held it over the campfire while he poured gas over the end of the torch</b> - you know, so he was pouring gasoline right into a fire that was quite a bit bigger than a breadbox!<br><br>
OK I was doing my best, but I can only keep my mouth shut for so long, and the mom did have her back to the fire so she didn't see that part. So I said "um, hey, Nameofneighborkid, that's not such a good idea, you should never add a propellant to a fire that's already burning," and he said (superior tone) "where should I pour it, on the grass then?" "Well, not into a fire, 'cause you could cause it to flare up and get out of control". I reminded him of the time my ex had a pile of brush he had doused with gasoline and the flames shot up about twenty feet in the air. (To give a little credit to my ex, although that <b>was</b> a stupid move, at least it was about 30 feet farther from anyone's house than this fire was). So the kid gave me this world-weary look like I was stupid and said sarcastically, "Yeah, 'cause he threw a match in it." I reminded him that he was pouring gasoline on something much bigger than a lit match, but he kept doing it (and his mom really didn't seem to notice a problem with it) so I started talking to my little guy (not my teenager, he was already a good distance away) like "Ds, please step far back from that fire, it's not safe for you to be standing near it while Nameofneighborkid is pouring gasoline on it".<br><br>
Which he did - my kids are smart. The thing is, so are her kids, and so is she (by some standards, anyway) although common sense - perhaps not so much? Or am I overreacting? I had to go out again (took all my kids with me that time), and when I came home, all the houses were still standing and the fire was almost died down. So I relaxed a bit, because nothing bad really happened. But I'm just thinking, it's going to be a long summer (they're here more in the summer). ::sigh::
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Irishmommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7982060"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would have called the fire department as soon as I saw what was going on.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
I might call CPS, too.
 

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Is it legal in your area to have fires in your yard??<br><br>
It is legal in mine..but they have specific *burn days* for burning yard waste.<br><br><br>
Er..edited as I didn't actually answer question "HELL NO!"
 

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Oh my word, what a set of ...wait...i can't say that here.<br><br>
I can say that they are people engaged in utterly moronic BEHAVIOR, can't I? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">:
 

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Good grief! Isn't this one of those things where if he's pouring it INTO the fire, it could ignite the whole stream and really injure that kid?? Yikes.<br><br>
Bad idea! Bad idea!!!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Irishmommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7982060"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would have called the fire department as soon as I saw what was going on.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br>
I play dumb when I get in a situation I don't know how to handle. "Fire Department, I think I see several little fires next door. Will you please come check it out?"
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Irishmommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7982060"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would have called the fire department as soon as I saw what was going on.</div>
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Oh, that too.<br><br>
And I probably wouldn't let me kid play over there any more either. The mother is obviously not responsible.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Clarinet</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7982089"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br>
I play dumb when I get in a situation I don't know how to handle. "Fire Department, I think I see several little fires next door. Will you please come check it out?"</div>
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:rofl
 

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um..yea..Im in shock that the mother would allow that<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: That's just crazy.
 

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I was just laughing with my dh that when I was a kid, we'd pour gasoline on the anthills in the driveway & set them on fire. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blush.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blush"> We considered ourselves 'older' kids- of couse 'babies' played with matches, we were big kids. Very continuum concept- we never burned ourselves, doing that, fireworks, whatever.<br><br>
I feel sorry for kids nowadays (and I didn't answer the poll- no, of course I wouldn't think that was ok- but it kinda useda sorta be, & kids today don't get to go down the wash & throw rocks or on hikes alone or ride their bike down the street with the wind in their hair or ride in the back of their dad's truck... and I feel wistful for them. We explored our surroundings a lot more than kids today can do, with all their scheduling & supervision. It was fun to be a kid in some ways back then.)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It is OK to have fires in our yards here, I do it myself from time to time - I burn logs and brush, etc., but I do it as far from my house as I can get without putting it close to someone else's house. But you're supposed to get a permit to burn (and sometimes, like during droughts, they don't give permits). You're supposed to have a hose at the ready, too, which I didn't see.<br><br>
I was just thinking she'd notice and see the situation in a different perspective after I started talking about the dangers. I never let my younger child go over there unless I'm right there, because I already know that the safety standards in that household are um, different than my own. It would have been pretty obvious who called the fire fighters or whoever, since I was the one out there trying to get them to stop, and no one else was around. If it was still blazing when I got back I was going to call them though, and if I see it again I probably will do so.
 

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Oh..ok I was just wondering <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
We don't need permits here..they just have "burn days"<br><br>
That's bizarre..I think I would call the FD. They would probably get a good lecture at the least.
 

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I voted "Sure I let my kids do it all the time." It looked like a lonely choice. But of course I was being sarcastic.<br><br>
I doubt I'd call the police or anything, but it sounds pretty horrifying to me.
 

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while i wouldn't let my kids hang out there while that was going on i don't know that i would call the fire dept either.<br><br>
maybe you can mail them this<br><br><a href="http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/citizens/all_citizens/home_fire_prev/holiday-seasonal/summer.shtm" target="_blank">http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/citizens/all...al/summer.shtm</a><br><br><a href="http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/citizens/all_citizens/home_fire_prev/holiday-seasonal/summer.shtm" target="_blank">http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/citizens/all...al/summer.shtm</a>
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"><br>
blessed makes a very strong point. Those kids - and their parents - need a reality check.
 

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My parents never let us play with gasoline or anything but we lived in the country and we would always have fires and make "stick torches" ... just a stick on fire, no tp involved. We would use it to write smoke words into the air. I also "smoked" grass as a kid rolled up in a leaf... hmmmm maybe that explains a lot. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I would never let my kids play with gasoline but I certainly wouldn't call CPS for this incident...
 
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