I was told that my friend, Gia Williams showed up for rehearsal on Wednesday, May 2, 2018, at the Mary Bethune Senior Center in Manhattan, but looked disheveled. According to the well known band leader, she was wearing a stocking cap. I never thought Gia would wear a stocking cap in public and so I think something was definitely wrong.  It seems that the rehearsal went well and afterward, as everyone was packing up to leave, Gloria Gia Williams was seen going into the ladies room.  She has not been seen since. If you have any information that might help us locate or find Gia, please contact the 32nd Precinct at 212-491-6485.

Gia has toured the world as a singer with the Harlem Gospel Choir. As a senior citizen, she has retired from that rather hectic life but still gets requests to perform at some local venues in New York.

Gia has been through some tough times recently and probably has been highly stressed. About a month ago, she was burned out of her apartment by a kitchen fire. She escaped more or less unharmed but her long time friend, Roberto Vidal wasn’t as lucky.  He has been in the Burn Unit at New York Presbyterian Hospital at 68th St. and York Ave in Manhattan ever since. He has been kept in a medically induced coma for the past month but is said to be improving.

Gia said that Roberto woke her after the smoke alarm woke him and they started making their way to the front door of the 4th floor apartment. Gia got out then turned around, expecting him to be right behind her. He was not. We don’t yet know what happened since Roberto has not yet regained consciousness but the thought is that he became disoriented or blinded by the smoke and might have turned around and went back into the fire when trying to find a way out.

I have had three friends damaged by fire in the last few months, and to be honest, the thought of fires now frighten me. The first person affected was Bill Murawski who was running for Mayor of New York late last year. He dropped out of the race due to the apartment fire that blinded him for four days and he needed skin grafts among other things. He still hasn’t fully recovered. The cause of the blindness was smoke. He was carried out, unconscious, by firemen who came in through the door and a window. He was in the same Burn Unit for two months that Roberto is in now.

So I ask that we watch out for each other, family and friends. Make sure your smoke alarms are all working and have fresh batteries installed.  PLEASE, Get a fire extinguisher and put it where you will automatically go should a fire break out. They are not too expensive. A good one can be had for around $25. To me, this is cheap since it might save my life some day.  I have had one already for many years, but it probably needs to be re-charged by now. I just ordered two more on the internet. One is for me and the other is for a friend who said she was short of cash. I thought it best for me to have a backup, just in case one of mine failed. They last, if not tested, for many years and you should get one with a meter or dial on it to tell you if it is fully charged. Without that, you won’t know if the kids had gotten their hands on it and may have discharged it in part or completely.

The question arises: What type of Fire Extinguisher should I Buy?

Extinguishers are arranged by Classes:  A, B, C, D, and K.

Class A fires involve materials such as cloth, rubbish, plastics, wood, or paper.

Class B  fires involve liquids or gases such as paints, fuel oils, and fuel products. Grease fires and cooking oil fires are not included in this class.

Class C fires involve electrically powered appliances and devices, such as appliances, power transformers, and other electrical machinery or equipment. If electricity is absent, these would be other classes of fire.

Class D fires involve combustible metals such as aluminum, magnesium, potassium or sodium.

Class K fires involve cooking oils and grease, including vegetable and animal fats.

Notice that Class K seems to be for kitchen fires, but most extinguishers I have seen for sale seem to be for Class A , B and sometimes C.  I have two that are rated for Class A, B, and C. I now have to find out about Class K which I have not seen for sale. I think my own personal needs are for protection against electrically powered equipment, but my friends have nearly died from kitchen fires. This is a wake-up call, I think, telling me that I should also have at least one Class K, so I have just purchased one from Amazon for $30 plus tax, the shipping was free. One of the test reports I read on this unit says that it has a test button you can press to check it’s functionality without depleting it’s charge.

May God, or whatever or who you might believe in, bless and protect us all.  I have now seen how much we can all really need it.


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