Two women were confirmed dead in the fire last night. My heart goes out to their families and to all the people who lost everything they own in the fire. I can't imagine having to start from scratch like that.
The worst part of the night was how helpless I felt. I wanted to help, but there wasn't much I could do. I was able to loan a couple camp chairs to the displaced people watching their building burn. Unfortunately, that's all I've got.
Oh what a night. The light and noise of firefighters and police officers didn't really die down until 3am or so. That plus the general nervous atmosphere made it very difficult to sleep. Julius, who was outside during the whole thing came home around 4am pretty anxious. I'm sure all the commotion was scary for him.
Apparently the cause was arson. By this woman who I totally recognize from around the complex.
Some pictures I took of the aftermath this morning:
Trevor and I have been debating whether we want to renew our contract at The Boulders when it's up in July. We like the neighbors and the cheap rent and how the management isn't full of sticklers for rules (like the last apartment complex we lived in). But the place is pretty old. There are sparks when you plug things into certain outlets in our apartment and the heating never worked very well. Until the arson reports came out this morning, we were both convinced that the fire had been caused by something wrong with the apartment, electrical or gas problems of some sort. So we knew we needed to get out. There was another fire in this complex that killed a woman in 2009. As far as I can find, the cause of that fire was never determined. We don't really feel safe. Now that we know it was arson and the building itself wasn't the cause, I feel like I should feel safer, but I don't really.
The good news is, Trevor and I spent a good amount of time last night talking about the best emergency routes out of our apartment and where we would meet in case we were separated in some sort of emergency and that sort of thing. I feel like we're better prepared now. I encourage you to make sure you have emergency plans in place for your family if you don't already. I remember my parents were good about this when I was growing up. We'd have fire drills where my dad would be the fire -- waving his arms around and blocking different paths. And we all knew to meet at the mailbox so we could make sure everyone was out. It was kind of fun as a kid to crawl around (to avoid the smoke) and climb out windows and such, but it was also a valuable teaching time. I hope to be good about this kind of thing when I'm a parent. For now, I'll just have to be sad that you can't really run cats through fire drills.