Saturday, October 12, 2013

Things That Go Pop In The Night

The sound of sirens in our neighborhood is never a good sound. The first thing that comes to mind is the elderly ladies who live across the street, my Mom and her ninety-three year old sister. Of course, out here, that's about a city block away. I ran immediately to the front window to see which street the ambulance would turn down, wondering how quickly I could get dressed and get over there if need be. What I saw from the front window of the house was a firetruck making its way down the main drag that separates our homes.

When I looked over in the direction of Grandma's house, my heart nearly jumped out of my throat. There were bright yellow flames that reached above the tree line between us. The night sky was lit up like a white cloud at sunset, with orange tongues of fire reaching even higher than the neighboring homes. I couldn't tell exactly how far away it was so I woke J and he drove over there to investigate. In the meantime, three more firetrucks had screamed their way past our house and turned right on the streets that lead in the direction of Mom's house.

It seemed an eternity before J returned in the truck pulling up the driveway slow as Christmas. My first thought was that he had gathered the ladies and brought them to our house and while my mind worried whether he had rescued Sugar, their cat, I saw that he was alone in the truck. Running outside to meet him at the driveway, I flooded him with inane questions that were self evident by that point.

He groggily let me know that the fire was two streets away and that he had stopped to talk to neighbors, who at that time of the morning, were still up and outside watching the volunteer fire department trying to extinguish the roaring inferno.

The morning after

All they knew was that they were playing video games when they heard a loud pop. When they went outside to look, they saw their neighbor's home engulfed in flames. They dialed 911 but the fire had already been reported and help was on the way.

This is all that remains of what was once someone's home. Perhaps the most disturbing part is seeing the dog houses in the back. Still, I remain eternally grateful that it was not at Mom's house and that they slept peacefully through the night. I whispered a prayer of thanks and went back to bed.