Like most women, I do love a fireman so imagine my joy when, on Wednesday evening, I nearly got carried down a wobbly ladder by a man with big hands and a yellow helmet. I was hanging with the thesps at the Unitarian church, the venue for my friend’s play. It was a double hander, or is it header? Anyway, there were two of them on the stage: Dorothy, our heroine, who had a lovely bob and a young man with needlechord slacks and a faint lisp. Just as they were starting to get cosy, there was a CLONK, CLONK, CLONK on the stairs at the back of the chapel. A flicker of irritation darted across our heroine’s face but she simply turned up the volume and soldiered on through the clonking. Then the next thing, a man’s voice boomed out from the back, could we please evacuate as there was a small problem with the electrics and the fire brigade was on its way. There not being any visible signs of fire, we all sauntered out just in time to welcome two engines and 10 firemen, complete with some very long hoses. Now, I’m used to fires in places of worship; my favourite was at St Andrew’s in Hove when the Brighton and Hove Gay Men’s Chorus had their South Pacific medley interrupted by quite a vicious conflagration in the vestry. This week’s electrical ‘fire’ was quite tame in comparison. However, I did get quite a thrill from being in such close proximity to  such chunky heroes. My only other intimate experience of a firefighter was when one came around my house to measure my windows for some blinds. Turns out he was only a part-time hero; I could tell from his hands he wasn’t the full shilling. �