Title: Another Fire!

Date Occurred: May 6, 1993

Date Written: May 6, 1993

Date Prepared for Web Site: April 26, 2019

Written By: Joel T. Kant

Copyright (c) 2019 by Joel T. Kant


At a little after three am, I finally got ready for bed. Had I been out partying? Of course not. I had merely given up on homework for the night. In case you haven't figured it out, grad school is hell. As soon as I pulled off my shoes and took off my pants, I smelled smoke.

I couldn't believe it. Not again! As I put my pants back on, I heard firetrucks. This time, I heard a helicopter too.

When I left the building, I saw that this time the fire was not in my apartment building. A frat house a block away billowed smoke. As I watched from back in the alley, frames leaped from around the roof and through the windows.

More spectators arrived. Most of the spectators went in far closer than me. I've always been a believer in keeping out of the way of the professional firefighters.

The flames increased. The whole roof was aflame. The roof collapsed. Chunks of roof landed on some parked cars. Vu, who was a closer spectator than me, was back at our building about fifteen minutes later. He described how the flaming pieces of roof clobbered three cars and almost hit some fire fighters.

The house appears to be a total loss. It looked like the fire fighters were merely keeping the fire from spreading and not trying to put it out.

As the house continued to burn, more firetrucks arrived.

Nobody was playing funny songs at this fire as happened at the small fire in my apartment building. A woman who had come after smelling the fire from a block further down than my apartment worried about people who might have been hurt or killed.

I can still hear the firetrucks and smell the smoke as I write this.

As I sat and wrote about the fire, I could hear some people talking in the hall. After I sent the e-mail letter, I went out of my apartment to see who was there.

One guy I had never seen before, named Todd, had been in the house that just burned down. He's staying in this building with a friend tonight.

Todd explained that he was woken by a fireman kicking in his door. Todd said he stood up, disoriented. The fireman yelled, "Get down on the floor."

Todd said that he didn't know what was going on. The fireman repeated the command, so he got on his knees and the fireman led him out.

What a way to wake up.

Todd said everybody got out okay. He expressed concern about his 200-compact disk collection. I wouldn't hold out much hope for that.

Todd also said he had called his mother just after he had gotten out. He made it sound like his mother had gotten almost hysterical.

Well, it's five-thirty in the morning. Time to try and get some sleep.

It is now late in the morning.

Todd's compact disks may not have perished. I walked out to the burned building today. It is huge. One wing is totaled, a mere brick shell. The rest of the building looked smoke damaged, but intact. Soot streaked the walls above the windows on the second floor, though. Who knows?

The cars in the parking lot were covered in ash and soot. Five cars had pieces of the roof across their hoods. One car had a shattered windshield.


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