It’s a funny thing, how life’s coincidences seem to bunch together. Almost everyone has had those occasions when, for some unknown reason, you just hit a specific run of luck.
We see streaks like that in our business. Occasionally we get a run on a certain type of story. Often as not, it’s a spate of car accidents. Sometimes it’s a series of drug busts or assaults. For a while last year, it felt like every edition had something about domestic violence in it.
Of course, it is not always bad news. A few years ago we had one reporter spend more than a month profiling new hair salons because a new one seemingly opened in his coverage area every single week.
Lately, besides major snowstorms, we seem to be on a jag of structure fires. Three of them just since Sunday this week and all of them catastrophic, potentially life-changing events for the victims.
Times like this, we think of our late friend, the recently departed Newcastle 1st Assistant Fire Chief Mike Santos, “Captain Newman.” Those that knew him could tell you Newman could horse around with the best of them, but when it got down to it, he was all business.
Be safe out there, he always said.
Newman used to talk about how safety meant being aware. How safety comes down to vigilance, making sure everything is properly powered, heated, ventilated, or stored. It comes down to making sure the batteries in the smoke detectors are fresh, and the emergency numbers and contact information is up to date and readily available.
Experts also recommend having an evacuation plan in place and designating a meeting location outside the structure in order to take a head count.
We confess, spot news can be exciting. Given the choice between covering your average planning board meeting or the emergency of the moment, there is no contest.
It never escapes our attention however, that only one of those two types of stories involves a tragedy.