I was sitting at my desk a little after lunchtime, and I thought I heard someone screaming. Our office building is in a little commercial park at the end of a residential road, so I just assumed that it was kids out playing since they're on spring break this week.
A minute later, I caught a glimpse out the front door of a man running in between my car and my boss's car. This was odd, and I said something about it out loud. My boss came out of his office, and we went to look out the window to see where the man went. Due to the positioning of our building and our little parking area, there aren't really any reasons for anyone to be coming through between our cars.
But then we saw it... flames coming out of the house across the street. We went outside and found a few other people were already out of their homes watching. The screaming? It was coming from the woman who lived there. She was still screaming and sobbing and rolling around on the ground. It was awful. The man of the house was walking around in whitie tighties (although blue in this incident). A neighbor soon gave him a shirt and shorts to put on. I'm sure he was thankful.
Soon after we walked out, the police and fire trucks turned up. They move quickly to get the hoses attached to fire hydrants and to begin fighting the flames, but the fire was so big that there wasn't much chance of anything being saved. We also had some crazy wind yesterday because of the rain that was moving in, and it certainly helped spread the flames.
We stood out there for probably 45 minutes or so watching. Tons of people came walking up from the other businesses and surrounding homes. It was certainly one of those kinds of things that you know it just awful, but you feel like you need to stand there and watch. Like, it almost feels like maybe in some way by standing out there instead of going about your business you're showing your support and compassion for the people who are suffering.
I just can't imagine... I think fire scares me more than any other type disaster. I remember having bad dreams about fires when I was a kid. (Fortunately, I slept soundly last night.)
I felt odd going back in and sitting down to keep working. I suppose that part of the lesson we should be reminded of when these type things happen is to never take things for granted. In the end, our lives matter more than our home or the things we keep inside of it. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured in this fire. But I still know that it must be terrible to lose all of your possessions. No amount of insurance will ever be able to replace your home, your memories, some of the things that aren't replaceable...
Just another reminder to count our blessings.