23 June 2009

The Fire Next Door

I came back from Vegas on a Tuesday. Lucy came to visit two days later. She and Jesse picked me up from the gym and (after I showered) we walked her through Chinatown. We showed her all the cheap produce and brought her into the meat markets. Lucy said it smelled like dog's breath and vowed to never buy any meat there. Jesse showed her the live frogs ready to be purchased for dinner and she was as disgusted as we expected. Jesse's that kind of older brother, the "here look at this" kind who loves to watch his sister gag. It's entertaining.

We didn't do anything Thursday night, but around 2 Friday morning, I thought I heard "fire, fire" from outside. I first thought it was a dream. I am not about firefighter flashbacks. I went back to sleep but heard sirens about twenty minutes later.

Two minutes after that, I heard yelling outside. I figured it was then interesting enough to get me out of bed.

Lucy was already up, walking toward the door. She had heard someone shouting "we have to break the door" and thought it was coming from the hallway.

To help you visually, between my building, and the next building, is a gate. It's about 7 feet high. It's unmarked. It's unlocked. It leads to another apartment building that's built to the side of and slightly behind mine. That's the building in question. The pictures are from one of our living room windows.


We saw firefighters. They were right under the window. They were working hard, breaking glass, chopping down the door, yelling to get more line. Two of them carried cats out of the building. One of them spotted me taking pictures. Whatever.

Lucy & I saw a guy on the floor above the fire. He was fat and shirtless. He opened his window to peep the commotion and we started waving at him, and yelling for him to get out of the building. The firemen put on their masks and went back inside. It was intense. Light smoke was coming out of the windows of one apartment and I felt like they could not get to it. By now people were staring out of every window in the neighborhood. We have a very quiet street.

Eventually I got ready for work. I walked downstairs. I opened the door. There was a man. He was a fireman. Judging by his face, I'd say he could easily be a fireman in Las Vegas. I said "good morning." He smiled & nodded. I giggled.

His cohorts were blocking my sidewalk. They were trying to get the ladder back onto the truck. There were 5 or 6 of them holding it up. It was too large (and maybe too heavy) to just lift. They looked ridiculous. I reached for my camera three different times. But I didn't want them to drop the ladder on me.

No one was hurt. The fire didn't spread. Cats and elderly people were saved. Firefighters first thing in the morning. A fine start to the day.


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