Archive for December, 2007

Follow Up On The Fire

Posted in General on December 20th, 2007

I think we’ve caught up on all the news surrounding the fire early this morning, and have been down to look at the aftermath.  The barn is completely gone, all the way down to the foundation.  The mobile home is gutted and in pieces, with the exception of the new porch and entry that was added just this year, but it’s smoke and water damaged.  There were three cars on the property, and they are all in ruins.  The trees are scorched or down.

The owners of the property are members of our church, and they rent the property out.  The tenant keeps the same sort of weird hours that Van does, so he was awake when the fire started, called 911 himself, and got out without a scratch, but has lost everything.  I don’t know if he has renters insurance.

The lady next door came to thank me for getting her up and out to move her RV, and caught me up on all the news.  Apparently the tenant has gone to stay with friends, and once someone finds out what his status is and what help he needs, the neighborhood will get something going to help him out.  I have picked out a bed sized quilt that I will donate when the time comes.

Meanwhile, I am just so thankful that no one was hurt and that the fire didn’t spread any further than it did.

I Know That Sound

Posted in General on December 20th, 2007

It was 4:30 a.m. and I was awake.  I knew that sound.  I looked at the blinds and knew that color.  I didn’t need my glasses to know that something was on fire.  One quick glance out the window and I ran to the phone to call 911.  They had already heard.  Next to wake Van, throw some shoes and a coat on, grab my cell phone and go see if there was anything I could do.  I knew there wasn’t.  But there might be someone in need of comfort.

Ten minutes later, the firefighters had not yet arrived, and the flames were high and loud.  What sounded like fireworks going off had everyone out their front doors to see what was going on.  This is a small place.  The firefighters are volunteers and have to come from home.  The fire was two doors down, a barn and mobile home.  I decided that we’d better wake the folks in the house between ours and the fire, so another woman went with me to bang on the door.  We woke them up and they ran to move their RV away from the heat of the blaze.

The fire trucks started to arrive and set up lights and run water hoses.  We use tanker trucks here on the island, not hydrants.  The sky is full of smoke now, instead of flying embers.  It will be a couple of hours before the sun comes up and we can see the devastation.  No one knows if anyone was in the house or the barn.

I’m a light sleeper, and am always being told that I should use ear plugs to help me sleep through things like snoring and noisy computers and other people moving around.  I don’t.  Back in the mid-1970s I lived in a neighborhood that was afflicted by a fire bug.  He started with garbage cans and worked his way up to garages.  Very early one morning, I was awakened by the sound of fire.  A quick look at the curtains told me something was not right.  Then someone started pounding on my front door.  My garage was on fire.  It wasn’t attached to the house, and the firefighters got to it before it spread.  A week later, my neighbor’s garage burned.  The sound woke me again.  It’s not something you forget.

6:00 a.m.   I won’t go back to sleep.  Too much adrenaline.  I pray no one was in the house or barn, or that they got out safely.  It will be awhile before we know anything more.  There’s a lot less smoke, so the fire must be mostly contained.  The firetrucks are all still here.