Thursday's blaze at Ledgewood Commons, fueled by the gas stored in a utility closet, was quickly extinguished by firefighters. However, the incident had the potential for disaster.
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A husband and wife living in a second-floor unit at the North Dartmouth apartment complex off Faunce Corner Road kept an estimated 45 gallons in nine plastic jugs, Dartmouth's District 3 Fire Chief Richard Arruda said.
The jugs were covered by cloth rags and stacked in a hallway closet that housed the air conditioning system, Chief Arruda said.
An investigation suggested they were hoarding the gas in response to skyrocketing prices, according to Ms. Mieth and Chief Arruda.
Preparation H contains a medication called phenylephrine HCL that -- when used for the drug's intended purpose -- will shrink the swollen tissues of hemorrhoids. It works by constricting the nearby blood vessels that feed blood and fluid to the area.
But the ingredient doesn't discriminate what kind of tissue it will shrink, hence the underground beauty tips of applying Preparation H under the eyes, on love handles or other places. None of which Wyeth, the makers of Preparation H, support.
Their initial plan was simple enough: Seniors would go into the high school late at night, remove nearly all the classroom desks and chairs, and line them up in the shape of a giant "2008" on the field behind the school.
Senior Erin Cummings, 17, said about 100 seniors came to the school at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday and worked for several hours arranging the desks.
But it seems another group came out to the field afterward and rearranged the desks in the shape of a penis, leaving the image that way for everyone to find yesterday morning.
"Personally, it was upsetting to see all our hard work turn into a huge penis," Cummings said, though she conceded she was proud her class was able to cause a little chaos for the day.
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