ROSEMARY ABBOTT | Culture
Steph Evans, 23, has convinced herself that her flat is now fully engulfed in flames after believing that the hair straightener she turned off before work, was in fact left on.
“Oh my god! Did I even turn it off?” Evans manically asked herself as she stopped in the middle of the footpath.
Evans, a shop assistant at Tauranga’s Polka Dot clothing store, was stone-cold frozen with fear as she spoke to the Whakataki Times reporters. She was convinced that her plugged in GHD hair straightener was the root cause of a house fire that was yet to happen.
“Do you smell that? Is that smoke? Where’s it coming from? Oh my god I’m gonna have to call 111,” Evans gasped while looking for smoke in the distance and dialling emergency services.
Tauranga’s Fire Chief Pat Holland explained callouts like the ones Evans has just made are all too common.
“What we see among young girls like Steph is that they almost routinely have these panicked thoughts that their hair straighteners have been left on. They may not have even used it that morning at all, but their brain sends a signal that it is on and their house is violently burning to the ground because of their own failure to turn it off,” the experienced Fire Chief said.
Evans, who had just reported a probable house fire to emergency services and also just phoned her boss to explain her current situation, told reporters her morning panic attack wasn’t too uncommon for her.
“I told my boss that at least it’s not the usual mid-afternoon panic attack where I think my house has already burned to a crisp and when I arrive home the firemen and police will already be there combing through rubble, looking for evidence. I mean, I left the house only moments ago. Surely that automatically means I’ve left my GHD on right?” explained a visibly shaken Evans in a frightening manner.
The Whakataki Times tried to seek further comment, but Evans had already walked hundreds of metres up the street to find out if her hair straightener, which was most likely off, was currently setting fire to her house.
More to come.
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