Monday, March 09, 2009

Up in Flames

Imagine our shock as we pulled into our driveway around 8:45 tonight to see flames shooting high into the night sky not far behind our house.

We called someone who lived in the area of the fire and she confirmed that it was a house just two doors down from them. It was obviously a very serious fire with emergency vehicles from multiple jurisdictions streaming down the street in front of our house.

We will be able to see in the morning what remains of the house, but I’m guessing it was pretty much demolished.

In the 32 years we’ve lived here, I can remember only one serious house fire in our neighborhood.

So many thoughts quickly flood your head at a time like this, like

-- Thank God it’s not my house.
-- I hope it won’t spread to my friend’s house.
-- I feel so sorry for the people who just lost their house and a lifetime of possessions.

Our power was out briefly, but long enough to cause us to miss 24. Jake is on a high state of agitation because of all the sirens and I think he might smell the fire in the air outside. But we can rest assured that the fire is now out and our life was hardly interrupted by a tragedy that left a neighborhood family homeless.


Blogger Kate said...

How frightening to have it so close! Glad you are all okay.

10:46 PM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

I feel sorry for them for what they must be going through right now and what they will go through in the coming months. It really sucks to have your house burn down. I just hope they deal with their situation more intelligently than we've dealt with ours.

12:28 AM  
Blogger Merle Sneed said...

Wow, how sad. Glad you're okay.

1:17 AM  
Blogger karen said...

terrifying experience, those poor people! Glad you are safe...

6:40 AM  
Blogger lacochran said...

About two weeks ago, we had the same experience in that a house burned in our neighborhood. Luckily no one was hurt but they lost all their possessions (between the fire, smoke and water) and the house is unlivable (half the roof is gone.) They say it was a chimney fire.

In this economy, I can't help but wonder if people will torch their own houses for the insurance money when they can't pay their mortgage or sell. I hope not but the thought comes to mind.

7:53 AM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

One summer while I was in college, I lived in an area where an arsonist was setting fires. Each fire was bigger than the previous one, starting with wood piles to sheds and one night I woke up and the vacant house two doors down was ablaze. The whole incident was very eerie. Because the firehouse was just around the corner, the firemen didn't turn on their sirens when they responded. I woke up to go to the bathroom and was bemused to find the living room bright, until I realized that it was a fire. The fireman evacuated the old man with cancer who lived next door. They put out the flames pretty quickly after that. The police were filming the crowd and caught the arsonist by comparing who was in the crowd at every fire. That much flame is terrifying! We were all glad that he was caught.

9:11 AM  
Blogger bulletholes said...

I nearly burned our house down when i was a little boy playing with matches.
Got my butt blistered, but not from the flames!

9:44 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Oh yikes. Be sure to tell us what happened. When I was a kid, I used to live in great fear of my house burning down and losing all my stuff. Now I could care less about the stuff, but I wouldn't want to be home at the time. (And I'd want to have my cat with me, at the vet, perhaps.)

10:03 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kate, Merle, Karen -- Yes, frightening, sad, terrifying are all good ways to describe it.

Cyndy -- You know first-hand what this feels like. Years later I'll bet you remember the initial impact of the news that your house had burned to the ground.

Lacochran -- The insurance thing did go through my head when I learned the house was uninhabited. Nothing much is moving on the real estate market in our neighborhood these days.

Kellyann -- I'm sure it was a relief when the arsonist was caught. That was some good detective work!

Bulletholes -- So how much damage did your younger self do?

Steve -- I have never much worried about fire because I hadn't experienced something like this. Now I see how devastating the results can be. Maybe we should all have these older houses rewired...

3:00 PM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

We were all very jittery in that neighborhood at that time. There was a car with a man sitting in it for hours, so I called the police. I guess I reported their stakeout guy! ::Laugh:::

8:49 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kelly -- Better to err on the side of caution!

8:53 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I'm with Kate. How frightening! I'm glad that you didn't lose anything and so sorry for your neighbors.

9:11 PM  

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