07 July 2010

Wakeup call

Last night about 2:20 a.m., I rolled over in bed and saw a flashing light through our master bath window. I went to our front windows and saw fire trucks lined up in front of our house and on down the street, then went on outside to find the house two doors down from us engulfed in flames and six trucks working to put it out. Neighbors were gathered on the curb across the street from the fire, and when I joined them I found out the fire had been burning since at least 1:30, when a passerby saw flames and smoke from another street and pounded on the door to wake up the owners. Lance and his teenage son Landon got out safely, along with their pets. We hadn't heard a thing.

The first word was that the fire had started in Landon's truck and then caught the north side of the garage on fire, but further investigation suggested the fire started in the attic and quickly caught the roof completely on fire. Someone down the street had been doing huge, commercial grade fireworks earlier in the evening, so close that we could see them clearly through our small living room windows. It is a definite possibility that a firework could have started the fire, and I think that's given everyone a lot to think about for next year's celebrations. The fire marshall said the roof and attic are so damaged that it might be impossible to ever figure out exactly what happened, but a firework could have landed on the roof, rolled down into the gutters and smoldered there, catching any debris on fire. Landon's Tahoe is completely burned out and the neighbors said there was an explosion from it early in the blaze. I don't think any of these photos really capture the extent of the damage the way walking around the house this morning did...something I've never seen, so close to home.

Lance was somehow able to get his yellow Corvette, his BMW and his daughter's Isuzu out of harm's way, but his beautiful Harley wasn't as lucky. The satellite dish strangely survived, though.

This was such a pretty house, with two nice decks overlooking a great backyard and the woods. It looks like some of the furniture and even cabinetry remain in tact, but from the basement doors at the back of the house you can hear a continual cascade of water pouring from the upstairs floors, so they have extensive water damage to contend with as well. The firefighters sprayed the house for a good 3 hours or more, and several times thought they had it all put out and then had to start again on new spots. I looked outside again at dawn and there were still men working. Chunks of charred wood and ash are strung all down the curb even in front of our house today.
You can see from this end, closest to our house, what a beautiful home this was. It's questionable if anything can be salvaged, or if what's left will be torn down so Lance can rebuild or sell the lot. He did go in this morning to locate his wallet (charred) and phone (melted) and came out with his Rolex, which was still functioning and fine once he wiped off all the soot. I feel for this family as they deal with the destruction and work to rebuild their life wherever they end up. We'll be taking care of their sweet black kitty Stranza, already a regular visitor to our house, in the interim. I know they're just thankful no one was hurt. I am, too. What a night.


Christy said...

I saw the news about the fire this morning, and when I heard the address it scared me because I knew you lived there. I am glad you and your family and house are safe. Sorry about your neighbor, bless his heart, what a long journey of recovery he is facing. I am glad no one was harmed.

Karee said...

This is one of these things that you see on tv and hear about, but never see in person. How scary! It is so good that no one was harmed.

Debra@Common Ground said...

Oh gosh, Hayley, how horrible! I'm not a fan of fireworks and never have been comfortable around them. They are too dangerous for people and then this kind of thing happens. I'm so glad they are all OK, but this kind of thing just changes your whole life.

Anonymous said...

How devastating, but I'm so glad everyone got out safely. This really hits close to home for Curtis and I. What a good reminder not to take ANYTHING for granted because something like this can happen in the blink of an eye.


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