Fire at my Complex

I had finished eating breakfast and was relaxing in my chair when I heard a pounding at my front door. Usually I don’t answer the door for strangers, but I saw someone standing there through the blinds and I figured I better open it. It was a police officer, and he told me I needed to evacuate because the building is on fire! I remember I had heard sirens in the parking lot a few minutes before, but I paid no attention to it. I figured since it was cold, I had better dress warm. I took a few minutes to put on three sweaters, a hoodie, a jacket, and join everyone one else outside. One of the neighbours had made a remark about someone not knowing how to cook. That was good for a giggle. I saw where the smoke was coming from, and I walked over to investigate.

As soon as I saw all the junk on the patio with smoke everywhere, I was not surprised. I pass that end apartment all the time whenever I’m doing laundry. I never saw who lives there, but whenever I’m walking back to my place at night from the laundromat, I have to pass that apartment, and the first thing that would catch my eye is the cupboards through the open blinds because the kitchen light was always on. Keep in mind that I usually avert my eyes whenever I see open blinds. No one was ever home. They had so much junk on their patio. It looked like they were cast iron ornaments and objects. Even a bicycle! This apartment is at the end of the building, hence my term “end apartment.” I always wanted to live in one because it is furthest away from the parking lot, I get an extra set of windows, and it is closest to the laundromat.

The fire department was already on the scene. They busted out all the windows and cut a hole in the roof to vent the smoke. Me and the rest of the neighbours were watching the action, and we kept backing away from the scene because the wind was carrying the smoke in our direction. I was joined by my neighbours Maureen and Erica. Thankfully, the demons that are on the other side of my sitting room wall stayed out of my business and personal space. The firefighters then turned their attention to the attached storage space. All of the apartments have them. That seemed to be where the fire was located and is also where the circuit breaker can be found. The meter is attached on the outside. I was so afraid that PSE&G would cut power to the whole building. The front of the shed melted off, and the firemen were dragging out stuff and knocking down the fire. I didn’t see any actual flames because there was so much smoke. In a few minutes, the whole shed and half of the apartment exterior turned black from fire and smoke. The firefighters started removing all the junk from the patio and putting it in a pile on the walkway. They tore into what was left of the shed to eliminate any hotspots. My cool neighbours had somewhere to go, and I wished them luck because the parking lot was crowded with emergency vehicles.

After maybe an hour, the firemen had the fire under control. I went back inside because my nose turned into a faucet from standing in the cold. I was so relieved to see that I still had power and water. My hoodie smells from the smoke, and I’ll have to air it out, or put it in the laundry basket. Sometime this week, I’m expecting management to send a memo regarding what is allowed, and what is not allowed on the patio. Most of my neighbours keep outdoor furniture and/or a barbeque grill on their patio. Mine is bare. I only have dirt and leaves.

For the whole time I was standing there watching the firemen, I did not hear any smoke alarms. Our iron fisted town council insists on inspecting them twice a year. All the apartments have one in the hallway, and one in the bedroom. The tenants probably took the batteries out. There were no causalities or injuries. But this is not going to go over well with management. I expect there will be another memo about fire safety and keeping the smoke alarm working correctly.

Whoever lived there is homeless as of now. The apartment is damaged and unlivable, so management is keeping the deposit. And on today of all days. Yesterday it was snowing, and the wind was howling like a ghost with a belly ache. There is a number to call for emergency housing. Maintenance will board up the house tomorrow since they don’t work on weekends. But the former tenants still have stuff in there, so maybe they will come today. I know not. And at my old Bridger job, I was helping someone who was displaced by a fire that he started by accident. When I left that job, he was doing well. I want to walk by the apartment and see the damage close up. I feel bad for the people in the end apartment on the other side. Thankfully, the firemen only used water on the shed, and not in the actual apartment, so perhaps they will be okay.

In unrelated news, I dismantled my beat up computer table that was functioning as a TV stand this past Friday night and scrapped it. I was so proud of myself because I was too lazy to do it sooner. It was too heavy to be hauled out in one piece anyway. Next on the wish list is a new dresser, and I found a gorgeous one that I will order. I’ll donate the old one.

Thanks for reading my post. Comments are always welcome. I hope you have a good week.

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