Part one of the Labor Day weekend roller coaster.
Riding the “it’s 5 o’clock” somewhere high that can only be truly cherished on the front side of a 3-day holiday weekend, I drove home and nestled in for a much needed power snooze.
Then there were sirens. Incessant, sirens. Wow, they sounded close. I never hear them that vividly, hmmm…..time to look out the window.
I caught the tail end glimpse of what looked to be a ladder truck. Rubbing my eyes in disbelief I threw open the closet door and slung on a pair of flippy-flops; I must investigate. Yes, I am one of those. I enjoy immersing myself in anything and everything that seems to be other peoples business.
Out the door I scurried, leaving Mr.O starring in bewilderment.
Looking around I noticed other tenants emerging as well. As I walked through the parking lot, following the migration of people, I looked up and caught my first glimpse. *Gasp*
Billowing black smoke; raging neon flames leaped into the air.
The apartment complex was on fire!
Standing and starring was all I could do. Neighbors gathered in a row alongside the road frozen in disbelief. No one moved for nearly 30 minutes, only the sounds of crackling wood and pressurized water slapping against the buildings could be deciphered in the distance.
While the emergency crews responded with amazing speed and accuracy, the damage had been done. In just over a half an hour one entire building had disappeared and another severely damaged.
This was as close as I have come to having my personal safety and property utterly destroyed. The sense of loss I felt for those affected was rivaled only by my internal need to be grateful that I was not among them.
Close, very close, but not among them.
Returning to my apartment I scooped up Oliver and called all my family to let them know I was alright.
Having weathered the first dip of the roller coaster weekend, I showered and headed out for an evening of dinner and drinks with friends. The events of this evening were only to get better, but that deserves its own post.