Last night, my parents, my friend, and I were all geared up to watch the documentary “The Business of Being Born”, something we’d been planning to see since February. (Read my post about that here). My finger was poised to hit the play button, when I happened to glance out of the screen door on our balcony to see a fire raging on the balcony of another apartment in a building across from ours.
I’m told that I often get the “deer in the headlights” look when I’m surprised by something, and I’m sure that’s how I looked then. I couldn’t believe that I was seeing a fire, right after my friend and I had been talking at length about a fire at her neighbor’s house a few weeks ago.
“It was the eeriest thing, Elise!” she said, wide-eyed.
The night of her neighbor’s fire, there had been another fire earlier that evening in the same house, but there was little damage. Again, late that night, another fire broke out and she heard screaming in the streets. Aside from the screaming it was strangely silent.
“The flames were just licking up the sides of the house,” she told me, doing an upward arm motion to imitate the flames. “It was amazing how something so destructive could be so silent.” Then there were explosions in the back of the house, cans burst because of the intense heat.
The house didn’t burn to the ground, but the city said it couldn’t be lived in any more. Plus it was suspected that it was arson that started the fire. My friend said 17 people lived in the lower half of that house and after the first fire the neighbors said that some of the people were in the street dancing and singing, “We have insurance! We have insurance!”
The thought of people burning the places they were renting because of wanting a rental insurance pay out made me nervous. We live on the 2nd floor of a 3 story apartment and I didn’t want any of my neighbors to start burning their apartments down.
So how ironic was it to see a fire breaking out just yards away from our apartment! I called 911 and my friend ran outside to move her car away from the fire.
Amazingly a group of young men and kids used buckets and the outdoor faucet to splash water on the 2nd story deck and they actually put out the fire before the firemen came!
It turned out cigarette butts were to blame, and the tenant in the apartment slept through the whole thing.
“We’re moving to a smoke-free apartment,” my mom said. There won’t be any arguments from me!
Have you ever had a fire? Please share your stories!