Sunday, April 10, 2005

"There's a FIRE next door!"

I thought it unusual that my phone would be rining at 10:15 at night. I had already talked to Lisa and told the the girls good night before they went to bed. I had only two more days in Kansas and then I would be back home. So when my cell rang Wednesday night, I knew something was up. The house next door to our current home was on fire, 5 trucks were there, our oldest was sleeping soundly and the youngest (whose room is nearest) was watching. We live two blocks from the central fire station so hearing sirens is not unusual. With a hospital half a block away there are a fair number of false alarms, but Lisa said she suddenly realized that they were right in front of the house, and right after that she started to hear the windows explode. She immediately went out and told the chief that she lived next door, and there were two children. He said that they'd let her know if they needed to evacuate.

The fire started in the attic, which is where the landlord lives. No one was injured thankfully, and the firefighters got it under control quickly. There is about $50,000 in damage. When I got home yesterday, all the dormer windows in the attic were blown out, and you could see the scorch marks outside each dormer. The home is the oldest structure in our quarter section of the block, and was identified as a key property when our neighborhood received National Historic District status. There is a dumpster outside the back now, and burnt objects are scattered around. I haven't seen Ralph (the landlord) to find out how he's doing, but he does have family in the area, so I'm sure he's OK. The tenants are getting their things out too. It's really sad to see all this.

Besides being extremely relieved that there were no injuries, from a completely selfish standpoint it's a lot easier to be selling your own house when the one next to it isn't a smoking pile of ruins...

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