Monday, March 30, 2009


There was a lot of excitement (and not the good kind) in my neighborhood this afternoon when a row of townhouses one block over caught fire. The fire station is only a few blocks from my house, so I didn't pay much attention to the sound of sirens until I heard them stop nearby. Looking out my front door, I saw several mail carriers parking their vans, and as they walked past my house, they told me there was a house fire on the next block! I wasn't even dressed yet, but threw on pants, shoes and a jacket, grabbed my camera, and ran down the alley. The photo above is the view between the houses on the back of my block.
I asked one rescue worker if everyone got out and he said he didn't know, but I later saw a woman sitting on the curb with her cat in a carrier, so I know she's OK. The news reports said no one was home at the time.

The photos are pretty self-explanatory. Keep your eye on the unit with the vent-pipe. It appears to me that the fire started in the unit to the right, but quickly spread next door. As bad as it looks in these first few photos, I got there before most of the damage was done.

The fire just kept rolling out of the roofs. At least a dozen fire trucks were on the scene, and it seemed the fire could not be stopped.

In the photo above, the fire seems to be stopping, but that was not the case.

I moved down the block when they brought more hoses in. Look at that vent-pipe now. And the roof is gone.

They finally brought in the ladder with hose attached, and sprayed from above. It was too late for the middle units, and the townhouse on the far right caught fire in the attic, but when I left, the fire had stopped.
What a terrible tragedy for those families. At least it appears nobody was injured.

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