The anthropomorphic garbage fire, calling itself Al, held a press conference in the alleyway behind a New York City Denny's.
“Yes, there is no reason to fear fire anymore, as the primary consciousness of the Greater Combustion Life Form, I speak for all fires when I say, humans no longer have to fear injury from our splendor, and you can trust us near flammable materials. Whether they be paper, wood, oily rags or even propane tanks. The time has come for humans and fire to put out the flames of our complicated past, and heal.”
Many humans were taken aback by this sudden pronouncement of fires good will towards all, wondering if the inherent nature of fire to burn could really be trusted near anything that is quite flammable.
Local human of Earth Gregor Neskov had a very lukewarm response to the claims made by Al. “Just 40 minutes ago I lit a cigarette and burnt my thumb with the lighter, I guess I'll know the truth in 20 minutes when I get another cigarette.” After 20 minutes Gregor was not only able to light his cigarette but was spared a gruesome inferno of a death when his still lit Zippo fell out of his hand and into a puddle of petrol he had spilled while refueling at a gas station.
Another human, Kyle Barnes, reported “I was lighting fireworks when I heard the news, so I decided to go ahead and get a closer look at the sparks from a large fountain that I had lit, now half my face hurts real bad.” Many lesser consciousnesses of the fire amalgamation were quick to point out that indeed not all things are fire, and fireworks are especially not fire because of the heavily refined chemicals used in them.
”It's really confusing,” said Pamela Hinamori. “If this creature is part of some Great Combustion Life Form, then why would certain fires burn and others not? all fire is combustion!” Accidents from careless uses of fire near highly combustible material have skyrocketed in the past few days. “I just fear that I might be the one that pays when a neighbor in my apartment complex decides to leave a candle unattended, BBQ indoors, or try their hands at killing bugs with hairspray and a lighter because some odious smoke monster told them being that careless was okay.” Many lesser consciousnesses took to twitter to discredit Pamela's remarks and voiced their dismay at being called smoke monsters, reminding people that just because there's fire, doesn't mean there's smoke.
When pressed by those leery of the proclamation, Al released an additional statement.
“[the combustion entities] utilize a complex psionic field, created by Earth's magnetic poles, that can read the minds of humans for when a fire should or shouldn't burn. However, this by no means says that I have control over all possible combustible outcomes. Even though, in the recent millennia, fire has caused a lot of damage, I can assure you that most combustible outcomes are being controlled, so you should have no problems with fire near lots of flammable material.”
In the final words of the statement Al lambasted his detractors. “I find it unfair that the Humans would express reservations about our generosity or be outright fearful that we're plotting something nefarious, we only wish to spread our splendor with all Humanity.”
“What really concerns me,” concerned mother of two Tammy Wilson explained, “is that last part, spread our splendor with all humans. What does that even mean?” Tammy lost her husband in a forest fire in California last year, and is not very trusting of the fire entities claims, and unsure of its motivation. “I just find it very odd that every time “Al”(she gestured with air quotes) talks, he's always saying something about being placed near flammable material and spreading their splendor. Nothing about better cars or how the now hive-mind of all of Earth's combustion could advance everything or even shared goals between our peoples.” “I definitely think they're up to something and I'd tell everyone to keep an eye out and not place any fires near flammable materials.”
Many have expressed doubts over the altruistic nature of Al's statements, from absolute terror of the mere existence of such a being, to what will become of firefighters. Others have expressed optimism in what this new entity might bring to the table and curiosity in the unanswered science of how a dumpster fire became sentient.