I stink with smoke. The images accompanying this text easily explain why.
I was sleeping when I heard some sirens around three hours ago. I turned on my police scanner: there was a fire at 13 Lorraine Street, a couple of blocks away from where I live.
I looked out my bedroom window. White smoke was rising against the night sky. It had to be a major fire.
I pulled on some clothes and left with my point-and-shoot digital camera. When I walked outside I could see the fiery glow fueling the smoke.
I wandered down the street where the flames were erupting. I hate seeing a house fire. Even if the residents safely escape, there is still loss. What the fire doesn’t ruin, smoke and water will get it.
As I stood there, the clichés came to mind. Stubborn blaze. Hard to knock down. I could see the fire department was doing its best, pouring on the water, powerful torrents that sometimes sent burnt shingles flying off the roof. The fire appeared to be mainly in the upper story, the attic.
A house next door was evacuated – but not completely. One young woman who lived there told a fireman that she was worried about her hamster. The fireman went in and carried out her caged pet. She was happy. At least her hamster’s home was portable, easily moved away from a threat.
The fire kept fighting back. Countless gallons of water were poured on and in. The flames died down; gray smoke poured into the dark sky. The situation was more or less under control. I left, knowing that I still had a place to go where I could shower away the smoky residue and then relax.
But that could change in a moment.