I love Thursdays!
This is Sue Vincent’s photoprompt this week. You can read her original post here:
Five years ago he’d heard the panic, shouts and terrified screams of people trying to get out of the blazing building through this very passage.
Many were slammed to the ground and trodden underfoot where, battered and bruised, they hindered escape.
The emergency services arrived on the scene in less than ten minutes after the alarm was raised, but already in that time, hysteria had got the better of most.
It was to their credit that the fire crews got things under control relatively quickly, getting everyone to safety and putting the fire out.
Luckily, there had been no deaths but the store had been badly damaged and had to close. The company had then gone bust and all staff laid off.
That afternoon, George had been having a smoke in the storeroom after an illicit rendezvous with the new lassie in lingerie. Before he could return to his office, two disgruntled members of staff had come down on their break and were complaining about reduced bonuses and lousy wages.
George had then seen one of the idiots carelessly toss an extinguished cigarette butt in one of the waste bins as they’d walked out.
His mind working on bigger problems at hand, he quickly returned upstairs.
It had seemed the answer to his financial prayers and pure genius to blame the fire on an employee’s discarded cigarette butt which he’d ensured was glowing when he added a couple of extra pieces of paper to the bin.
However, it was later proven that it had actually been started in the storeroom by his own, the one he’d left unattended and forgotten when he’d put his ear to the door to eavesdrop on their conversation.
It all came out then about his business affairs, dodgy dealings and gambling debts. Rather than solve his problems, he lost everything.
Except doing Time for arson and trying to defraud the insurance company.