five-alarm fire

five-alarm fire

1. A fire that is so large or intense that it requires the presence of many firefighting units to try to contain it. A five-alarm fire is the reason we heard all of those sirens last night
2. Someone or something that is very intense or stressful. Boy, this project has really become a five-alarm fire with all the other problems it's created.
See also: fire
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a five-alarm fire

verb
See also: fire
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
Over 200 firefighters battled a five-alarm fire in a six-story building on First Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets in New York's East Village on Wednesday.
Prospect Heights Fire Protection District Chief Drew Smith said two residents and one Prospect Heights firefighter suffered minor injuries in the five-alarm fire, but all three declined treatment at the scene or transport to a hospital.
TEHRAN (FNA)- At least three people have died, as over 100 firefighters are battling a massive five-alarm fire in a condominium building in Honolulu, Hawaii.
My first five-alarm fire. My first rape-murder confession.
You risk not being aware of an issue until it becomes a five-alarm fire, instead of nipping it in the bud earlier based on good data."
When the Boston media turns its lenses to this region, it is usually to mock us for our empty airport good for only Tom Cruise movie sets, or to rubberneck at some shocking crime or a five-alarm fire. We've come to accept this negative attention as the norm.
Cervantes declares, "They burned the sacred codices and the molten goddesses rose anew in their flames." She will not allow the reader to forget past transgressions put upon people of color; therefore, she scribes with the tenacity of a five-alarm fire against current attempted oppressions.
It was the city's first five-alarm fire since a blaze destroyed a vacant Jantzen Beach hotel in September of last year.
The five-alarm fire was reported to the Portland Fire Bureau just after 4 a.m., KATU, Portland, reported.
But when done blindly, it can be as ineffective as employing a watering can to combat a five-alarm fire.
Nearly 10 months after a five-alarm fire ripped through an apartment complex in Elmhurst in the aftermath of a blizzard, injuring seven people and displacing 66 families, the Buildings Department has fully rescinded the vacate order allowing the remaining tenants to return after a multi-million dollar renovation by the owners, The Kalikow Group.
What he found there was a five-alarm fire. When the smoke cleared two days later, the film processor had lost more than 4.5 million lb of finished goods, in excess of 2 million lb of resin inventory, as well as 170,000 [ft.sup.2] of damage encompassing the shipping/receiving, reprocessing, and bag-making departments.
"The five-alarm fire bell of a tooth ache is difficult to ignore," says Dr.
A combination of a savvy new customer, new communication channels, and competition from community-based services like never before only adds fuel to this already five-alarm fire called our economy.