If I ever try to say my life is boring, just smack me.
It was Saturday afternoon and my roomie and I were quietly spending the day at home. I walked up to my room to retrieve something and smelled a very slight odor of smoke. Not wood smoke, more like plastic or an electrical fire. I checked around the room and inspected the light fixtures, but didn't notice anything unusual.
Then I heard what sounded like a loud diesel engine outside. I peeked out the window.
"Um, LL, there are two large fire trucks parked outside our house," I called out.
"Ok," she said.
I walked downstairs and looked out the front door. Firemen were suiting up and unrolling hoses. Then I noticed smoke billowing out of the upstairs window in the townhouse next to us.
"Hey LL, I think the house next door is on fire," I said. "Maybe we should have some shoes on and be ready just in case we need to evacuate our house."
I turned back inside to get flip flops and grab my purse. When I turned back around there were about five firemen walking through our front door. They were fully suited with masks, oxygen tanks, hatchets, the whole works.
"You need to leave the house immediately," they said. "The house next door is on fire. Please leave now."
LL and I walked out the front door while the firefighters stayed in our home and went upstairs.
We stood across the street for about ten minutes, watching the process. Smoke curling out the windows, then a fireman smashing out the glass and the spray from the hose glistening in the hot air.
It didn't look like the fire had spread past that one room, but those five firemen were still in our house which was making us a bit nervous.
"LL, if the fire spreads to our house it will hit my closet first," I said. "All my clothes will be ruined. And my shoes!"
We can see where my priorities lie.
Finally the firemen exited our home and a few minutes later it appeared the fire was out in the house next door. The men started taking off their equipment and removing burnt furniture from the house. Out came the mattress...all that was left was the metal springs. Then from the upstairs window came sailing a burnt-out TV, lamps, drapes, various odds and ends melted into unusual shapes.
Finally, one of the firemen came up to us.
"You can go back inside your house now," he said. "We did a little bit of damage inside. I'll show you what happened."
Um, ok. We looked at each other nervously.
He led us inside. "We had to tear a couple of holes in your ceiling. We needed to see if the fire had spread from the unit next door."
Sure enough, we have matching holes in our bedrooms. The firemen drove their hatchets up through the ceiling, one in my room and one in hers. There was a thick covering of sheet rock and insulation on the carpet.
"Sorry about that," he said. "We had to make sure the fire was contained. Call your insurance company and they'll arrange to take care of it."
Sigh. Well, we needed to vacuum and dust anyway.
And our hero, James, came over and taped plastic over the holes. So while it's not patched, we don't have to worry about insects and squirrels paying us any visits.