FLASHOVER

The sudden ignition of all flammable material in a room or structure. As the fire burns and heat is generated and stored in the room on fire, it is possible for the heat to accumulate faster than it can use fuel. Once this reaches critical mass, the heat then turns all the flammables in a room into fuel at one time. The danger is that this causes an inversion of the thermal layers because the new fuel is almost always near the floor. Despite superb protective gear, a firefighter has less than two seconds to evacuate a room that has a flashover.

Disclaimer—This story is fresh from my mind and no where else. Hope you enjoy it! Please comment. Thanks.

Gabriella could hear the blaring sirens from a distance starting to sound closer. She was nervous but relieved that help was on its way.

"Just lay still Daddy, Helps is almost here. I can hear them getting closer." Gabriella panted as she held her fathers cold weak hand tightly in hers as he laid clutching his chest and struggling to breathe.

"Gabbie….I can't…take…it." Carlos Montez gasped as he stared into Gabriella's eyes almost pleading with her to make the pain stop.

"Daddy, hold on! You're going to be fine. Help is coming." Gabriella stroked Carlos's cheek and tears began to fall down her cheeks. "Hurry. Hurry" Gabriella thought to herself.

As Gabriella tried to make her father as comfortable as possible she realized he had suddenly stopped moving and became eerily still and quiet.

"No!! Daddy!! No!!!" Gabriella yelled and hugged her father to her chest. "Wake up Daddy. Don't you dare leave me!"

Gabriella held her father close and tight on the floor of their tiny kitchen. Tears streaming down her face like rivers.

Suddenly the side door to the kitchen opened with a swift rush and three paramedics hurried in rolling a gurney behind them and holding several large red and black bags.

Two of the men quickly knelt down next to her father and started to take his blood pressure, look in his eyes with lights, rub his chest to try and get a response. They knew immediately time was of the essence and this man needed to get to the hospital.

"When did he pass out?" the blonde medic asked Gabriella.

"Umm, just a few minutes ago." Gabriella's entire body was shaking as she tried to stay out of the medic's way. She stood against the wall and watched as the men started an I.V. chatted vitals to each other and proceeded to work on her father.

The second medic with dark curly hair started to cut open the front of Mr. Montez's shirt with scissors and place the AED pads to his chest and sides.

"I have no pulse. Charging!" He yelled.

"Is he going to be ok? Please tell me he is going to be ok!" Gabriella covered her face and started to sob.

"Clear!" The first shock went through Mr. Montez's body and made his limp body shudder.

"Miss, we need some information from you right now about your father's medications and health history. Are you ok to answer some questions?" The blonde paramedic asked Gabriella as he put his arm around her shoulders and guided her into the living room trying to get her out from such a sight.

"My partners will do everything they can to help him." He said reassuring her to leave the room.

Gabriella looked back before leaving the room and saw the third paramedic on his knees leaning over her father starting to give him chest compressions. Then she heard the medic yell "Clear!" again as the jolt shot through Carlos's limp body once more. Gabriella jumped and screamed.

"Stop your hurting him!" she yelled as she lunged for the paramedic who was starting to give more chest compressions.

Gabriella pushed the medic into the cabinets and started to punch at his chest. The other two medics ran over to monitor and continue to assess treatment to Mr. Montez.

Gabriella held her eyes shut and continued to punch and yell at the paramedic to leave her father alone and just get him to the hospital.

"You are hurting him damn it! Stop it! Take him to the fucking hospital you beast!"

"Stop it miss, its ok." The medic tried to calm Gabriella down in between gasps of her profanity and left hooks. He finally grabbed her wrists and pulled her closer to him and just sat on the floor and held her.

Gabriella's whole exhausted body sunk into his broad chest. She felt helpless and started to cry harder than she ever had in her life.

"Clear!" The paramedic shouted from the kitchen again.

Another bolt shot through Mr. Montez's body. This time after the shock, he started to gasp shake. The monitor started to beep.

"We got a pulse." The curly haired medic said. "Let's get him to the hospital now before he crashes again!"

The two medics lifted Carlos onto the gurney, placed an oxygen mask on his face and quickly rolled him out of the house and into the back of the ambulance.

"Troy is she ok? You want to sit in back with her?"

Troy nodded as he slowly stood up and gently helped Gabriella up from the floor.

Gabriella felt very weak and leaned on Troy as she stood up with him and started to wipe her eyes.

"Are you o.k. miss?" Troy asked as he wiped away a tear that had falling midway down Gabriella's cheek.

Gabriella looked up and met Troy's sapphire eyes for the first time. Her chocolate yes seemed to melt in the sea of blue. They were hypnotic and made her feel warm inside. Like everything was going to be o.k.

"My name is Gabriella, and yes I will be fine. Just get me to my father."

"O.k. Gabriella, let's go." Troy put his hand on the small of Gabriella's waist and escorted her into the back of the ambulance. Troy sat next to Mr. Montez's head so he could keep an eye on the oxygen level and EKG readings, while Gabriella sat in a seat next to the gurney. She held on to her Father's hand and just caressed it so he would know she was there with him.

"We're all good Chad. Let's go!" The curly haired medic shut the back doors and tapped on the vehicle to signal the other medic to drive.

The ambulance quickly rolled away with the lights blazing and the siren bellowing, although it wasn't as loud in the back.

"Is he going to be ok?" Gabriella asked Troy as she looked at her father's pale face.

Troy adjusted the I.V. tubes, checked the EKG strip.

"He seems to be pretty stable right now, but he needs medical help to determine the severity of his attack."

Gabriella nodded as the tears began to well up in her eyes again.

"If he's half the fighter his daughter is, I'm certain he will be fine." Troy said as he smiled and pretended to favor and rub his left arm.

"Yeah, sorry about that." Gabriella looked up and giggled back at Troy. "I had no idea what you were doing to him. My father means everything to me."

"I understand. And we will do everything we can to get him to the hospital safely." Troy said as he placed his hand on Gabriella's knee and gently squeezed it.

Gabriella again felt warm inside by his soft touch and shyly looked up at him and nodded.

When the ambulance pulled up to the emergency room entrance the back doors quickly swung open. Chad pulled as Troy pushed Mr. Montez out and into the awaiting lobby. Dr. Walsh met them immediately at the doorway and Troy informed her of Mr. Montez's incident current vitals, meds that had been pushed and treatment on the sight.

"Ok, I'll take it from her boys. Well done. I think you gentlemen saved this man's life." Dr. Walsh said as she took the gurney and motioned for her intern to accompany Gabriella to the admitting desk.

Gabriella quickly followed the intern to a small cubicle to answer insurance questions and information for her father to be admitted into the hospital.

As Troy collected his medical bag and other supplies from the nurse's station for the ambulance he looked up at Gabriella and noticed how sad and fragile she looked. Yet he also saw the most amazing and beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes on.

Gabriella turned and as her eyes met Troy's. She mouthed "Thank You" to him and tried to give him a little smile.

Troy nodded and smiled back, but could not take his eyes off of her. Why hasn't he seen her in town before? He knows everyone in Cherry Grove.

"Bolton, let's go." Chad tapped Troy on the back and shook him out of his dazed state.

"Oh. Yeah. O.k." Troy turned and punched Chad in the arm. "Nice save Danforth."

"Nah, this one is yours dude."

"I'll take it." Troy said as they jumped up into the ambulance and drove back to the firehouse.

At the firehouse, the other firemen were just sitting down to dinner.

"Hey Bolton, Danforth you're on dish duty tonight!" the chief called out from his office.

"Shit again? What the hell did you do to piss him off now?" Troy turned and asked Chad.

"I don't want to talk about it."

"You better talk about it, because every time you piss off your future father in law, he feels the need to drag me down with you." Troy slapped Chad in the back of the head. "So spill."

"Well, he kind of, umm, caught me and Taylor."

"Please say he caught you just playing on his pride and joy pool table."

"Well, yeah kind of. We were technically on his pool table, but we weren't exactly playing pool." Chad raised his eyebrows and smugly smiled at Troy.

"Are you fucking nuts?! Not only are you in the basement of his home, you're screwing his only daughter on his new pool table?!" Troy yelled.

"Keep it down you ass! I didn't realize he had a shift day off. I thought we were alone." Chad said as he looked over Troy's shoulder and saw Mr. McKessie walking towards them.

"As a matter of fact, I need you two to mop the garage floor too before you eat." Chief McKessie said as he handed Troy a bucket and Chad a wet mop and gave him a little shove.

"Yes sir." Both Chad and Troy answered.

"You owe me." Troy said to Chad. Troy then turned to go fill the bucket with soap and water and mumbled a few more profanities at him.

A few hours later Troy and Chad, along with their bunk mates Chucky and Jason sat at a poker table and started to play cards.

"Man, I think I have dish pan hands." Chad said as he looked at the front and back of his dry knuckles.

Before Troy could respond to him, the alarm went off and the dispatcher announced the need for the ambulance to assist on another call.

Since Troy, Jason and Chad were assigned to the ambulance for a 24 hour shift they had to quickly get up and go.

The incident wasn't far and it was for a little boy who fell on the ice and broke his wrist.

Once again Troy rode in the back and tried to comfort the child as well as the mother who was yelling at the boy for trying to ride his skateboard on their ice covered driveway.

"Wait until your father hears about this young man!" the mother shouted.

Troy just looked away and tried not to laugh because he could remember doing the same thing when he was younger.

As they pulled up to the emergency entrance and Troy escorted the boy out he smiled and told him he would be fine. He also advised the boy to maybe consider ice skates next time instead of a skateboard. That made the boy laugh. The mother of the boy however, gave him a dirty look and took her son into the awaiting room.

Troy laughed to himself and started to walk to the supply closet.

"I'm going to go down and get some gauze and blankets for the rig; I'll be back in a minute." Chad said to Troy as he started down the hall.

"Yeah right. Tell Taylor I said hi." Troy smiled and waved to Chad.

"O.k. but I may be a while. You know what that nurse's outfit does to me."

"Chad, you have 15 minutes dude."

"Give me at least 25."

"Fine, I'll get the supplies. Hurry up!"

"Hey, true love takes time my friend."

"Chad!" Troy yelled and threw a box of rubber gloves at him.

As Troy turned around he noticed the young woman whose father they had brought in earlier. She was sitting in the waiting room talking on her cell phone. She had her arms folded across her chest like she was trying to keep warm.

Troy poured two cups of coffee into two small styrofoam cups. When Gabriella hung up the phone he walked up to her.

"Hey, I thought you might like to have something to help warm you up." He said as he handed her the white cup with steam rising from it.

Gabriella looked up and immediately recognized Troy from earlier. How could she forget those piercing blue eyes?

"Thank you. I am cold. It is freezing in here."

"Yeah well, you're right next to the door that keeps opening and letting all the cold air inside. You should go sit in the family waiting room."

"Well, I'm not moving until I know my father is o.k." Gabriella said as she held tightly to the cup so it would warm her hands.

"Is he still down here? I thought they would have him upstairs by now." Troy said.

"They've been running him up and down and all around for tests. Hopefully they will know what he needs soon."

"I guess that's a good sign then. If it was worse he would be in surgery by now."

"Yeah I guess." Gabriella looked up at Troy who was now sitting next to her.

Troy noticed her soft chocolate eyes. They looked so sad and worried.

A feeling came over Troy like no other. He felt like he wanted to hug her and nurture her back to happiness. He was very confused since he had just met her. But it was like he had known her forever and felt protective of her.

"So what are you doing here again?" Gabriella asked as she sipped her hot drink.

"Duty calls. A kid broke his wrist." Troy motioned over to curtain 3, where his mother was sill lecturing the boy.

"Oh dear! Kind of scary for the Mom huh?"

Troy laughed. "She was actually ready to break his other wrist."

Gabriella giggled.

"A-ha I made you smile." Troy said as he brushed the hair from Gabriella's cheek.

Gabriella leaned back in surprise by Troy's touch, but at the same time a tingle came over her. She felt a little flustered.

"Oh sorry." Troy retracted his hand and put it around his drink. "Why did I do that?" he thought to himself.

"No, that's o.k. you did make me laugh. I needed that. By the way I'm sorry for punching you earlier at my house. I was freaking out big time."

"Ah no worries. I heal fast." Troy smiled and shrugged his shoulders.

"Ms. Montez, the Dr. would like to speak with you." A nurse interrupted and motioned for Gabriella to follow her.

"Oh. O.k." Gabriella responded but before leaving she turned back to Troy.

"Thanks again, ummm Mr. Bolton." Gabriella said as she looked down to Troy's name badge. "You saved my father's life. I am so grateful."

"My name is Troy. And it's no big deal Ms. Montez. You're father is a strong man. He's going to be fine. And I should be too, eventually." Troy said as he stretched out his shoulder like he was in pain.

"Very funny. And call me Gabriella. What you do is amazing. You don't give yourself enough credit. "

"Thanks. And that's twice I made you smile." Troy wanted to get her number or e-mail or something, but the timing was awful. He knew she was concerned about her father and it was a bad time to ask for such a thing. But it killed him to just let her go.

"Bye Troy." Gabriella turned to follow the nurse and walked away.

"Bye." Troy answered back. He then whispered "Gabriella" as he watched her walk away down the corridor.

He felt such a strange feeling overcome his body, but he already missed her.

The next morning as Troy and Chad's shift ended, Troy decided to go for a long jog before having to drive back to his condo.

As his feet hit the pavement and he obtained his stride, he could not stop thinking about Gabriella. Her fragile petite frame, her soft amber brown eyes, those beautiful lips and flowing ebony hair. He seriously felt his heart skip a beat every time he thought of her. He seemed more out of breath as he started to cool down his speed.

As he completed his run back at the firehouse he saw Chad getting into his truck.

"Hey dude, what are your plans today?"

"I'm on my way to the hospital to pick up Tay and we're just going to hang out. I think tonight we may end up having pizza at my place. Do you want to come over and I can whip your ass at Halo 3?"

"Yeah right really funny. No I'm just gonna chill, maybe go see my bro."

"You're bro? Yeah right. As soon as you step foot on that campus you're going to go straight to that bitch Christi's house."

"Hey, hey, hey no need to be so harsh. And no I will not."

"Dude that wasn't harsh. What she did to you was harsh"

"Yeah well, I'm not getting into that right now, so drop it." Troy said as he tried to catch his breath.

"Fine. Suit yourself. The invitation still stands to meet up at my place. Let's say about 6."

"I don't know, I'll see where the day takes me." Troy said as he put his fire gear in the trunk of his car.

"Ok later."

"Later"

Chad's truck sped off and Troy got into his car to drive to his brothers' apartment at the University Campus.

"Hey Troy, this is a nice surprise. Come on in." Troy's little brother Kyle said as he opened the door.

Troy had to step over many beer bottles and a few sleeping people before he got to a chair that he could sit on.

"Do Mom and Dad know this is what their money is going to?"

"What do you think? As long as I keep my grades up, it's cool." Kyle said as he cleared a space on the couch to sit.

"How's work?" Kyle asked.

"It's crazy. Chad's antics aren't helping either."

"Is he still bangin the chief's daughter?"

"Taylor, Kyle, her name is Taylor. Have some class huh?"

"Sorry. Taylor. Is he still bangin Taylor?" Kyle asked again as he smiled.

"You're a real smart ass." Troy said then lunged to tackle Kyle and put him in a headlock.

The two brothers wrestled on the floor pinning each other and fun punching one another until a voice interrupted them.

"Ooooo can I get in the middle of a Bolton brother wrestling match?"

Troy and Kyle stopped wrestling and stood up.

"Hey Christi, it's awfully early for you to be up." Kyle said as he walked up to her and kissed her neck.

As Kyle nuzzled on Christi's neck she kept full eye contact on Troy.

"Yeah well, you boys were very loud and I had to see what all the fuss was about." Christi turned and walked into the kitchen as she pushed Kyle off of her like he was a puppy humping her leg.

Troy noticed her football jersey shirt was a little too short and he could see her ass cheeks in her tight boy shorts as she bent over to grab the orange juice from the refrigerator.

"So Troy how are you?" Christi asked as she poured her juice in a semi clean glass. Satisfied that he noticed her scandalous attire.

"I'm good."

"Mmmmmm you sure look good." Christi looked Troy up and down and took a drink.

Troy rolled his eyes and looked away. He felt extremely uncomfortable and knew his thoughts of hanging out with his brother were crushed.

"Did you see what your brother bought me for, well just because?" Christi held out her hand and a diamond tennis bracelet shimmered on her wrist.

Troy shot a look at Kyle. Kyle shrugged his shoulders.

"Kyle can we talk?" Troy said as he grabbed Kyle and shoved him outside the door in the hall.

"Are you kidding me? How much did that cost?" Troy started to question Kyle.

"Don't worry about it dude." Kyle defensively answered.

"I am going to worry about it because you are buying her shit with money Mom and Dad sends you for school!"

"Like I said as long as I get good grades Mom and Dad are happy. I can spend the money however I want."

"She's not worth it Kyle."

"Maybe to you she isn't."

Troy gave Kyle a nasty look and started to feel his ears burning with anger. He hated that Kyle was with Christi after what she did to him. But it was his brother and he loved him. He was young and stupid, but still family.

"I'm just warning you Kyle."

"Hey honey you know I don't like being alone." Christi opened the door and made a pouty face to Kyle.

"We're coming back in hun." Kyle looked at Troy and started to walk back into the apartment.

"You coming in?" Kyle asked Troy.

"No, I'm going to head back home. I just wanted to check on you and say hi."

"Come on bro, don't be like this."

"No it's cool. I'm going to go run some errands and chill at Chad's place tonight." Troy said as he messed up Kyle's hair.

"O.k. then I'll talk to you later." Kyle said as he walked in the doorway.

Troy nodded and turned around to get into his car. As he looked back he saw Christi through the doorway waving in a very flirty way to him as she slowly closed the door.

His stomach flipped and he started to feel sick.