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Darwin Awards
2000 Personal Accounts
Email a Friend The Darwin Awards salutes the spirit portrayed in the following personal accounts, submitted by loyal (and sometimes reluctant) readers. Next Prev Random

Bye Bye Birdie  
2000 Personal Account

(7 October 2000) I made my first Darwin attempt on a chilly Saturday night, all because I noticed some birds flying from the chimney at my Mulberry property. When the house became vacant, I had nailed all the windows shut and turned off the electricity. I decided to chase the birds away with a small fire in the fireplace. It did not occur to me to check whether the flue was open.

I shut and locked the front door because some people outside were riding four-wheelers. I lit the kindling and turned away to toss a plastic ball for my dogs, Jack and Darcie. Soon smoke started pouring into the room.

I tried to open the flue, and spent some time pulling and jerking on the knob, but it was rusted shut. Suddenly I noticed that Jack and Darcie were frantically scratching at the front door, trying to escape from the acrid clouds. I had not realized how much smoke was pouring in, since the house was dark.

I ran to the front door and started pulling on it, but it wouldn't budge. It was locked! I unlocked both locks but the latch on the old screen door was stuck!

I was choking and both dogs were clawing at me when I finally managed to open the window on the screen door and gulp some fresh air. I then ran to the back door, bumbling into walls because the whole house had filled with smoke by then, and all three of us escaped out the back door.

Once I was safely outside, the whole incident was quite funny, but my friends all agree it is probably worth an At-Risk Survivor.

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