Sunday, February 25


Today, rather Saturday evening around 9:30pm, someone set our carport on fire. I was watching tv in the dining room, Justin had just gone to bed, everyone else was gone, and the motion detector light came on. Typically we save the carport for our guests, so I looked up to see who was coming in. I usually also keep an eye out for the possiblity of wind, or unwanted street vagrant. I peeked out the window and saw a little sunset color mixed in with the white motion light. I was a bit puzzled at first--who want's to admit what they're seeing is a fire? As I was reaching for the door to go outside, I thought I smelt smoke. I nervously and fearfully kicked off my slippers and ran outside and saw the far side of the carport on fire. Frantically, I began dialing 911 and yelled for "George!" (my neighbor). 911 was not connecting. I kept screaming as loud as I could. Just heard my yelling and saw the growing flames from his bedroom window. I redialed 911 and finally got through. I screamed into the phone, "FIRE! Big fire!" and repeatedly gave them the address. Repeatedly because he said I was breaking up. While talking to him, I grabbed the garden hose and tried spraying things...anything... it was useless but I had to do something. Justin yelled at me to stop and I told him to take the propaine tank from the bbq away. He did and got to a safe distance... a crowd started to gather. Flames were growing... there was popping and exploding noises... presumeably my windows and car tires... I kept spraying futilely. I had to do something. People yelled at me to stop. I ran inside to insure the guys in the basement were out... the stairwell was filled with smoke. Impossible to descend. I went for the hose again, but was overwhelmed at the size of flames and suddenly realized how ridiculous my battle was as flames ingolfed the entire wall and ran along the metal roof. I began to fear that my motorcycle would explode or worse, my car. The street was now completely aligned with people. Most were friends and neighbors. Fire truck after fire truck appeared... I think six, perhaps seven in all with numerous other paramedic vehicles. I watched as they battled and defeated the blaze. Once the flames were under control, I regained some composure and began calling housemates, delivering the sad and shocking news. Most were able to find alternative places to sleep. Fortunately, our house is made of brick. Fortunately, the storage room with the lawn mower and gas cans, paints and other flamables was only seared on the outside. Some things melted, but was not ignited. I'm exasperated......

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