Unfortunately folks, I know what that's like.
That night is etched into my head so completely that when I was lying awake this evening in bed, staring at shadows on our wall, the first thought about that soft orange glow, the sounds of lumber crashing, wasn't, "Stupid noisy truck. Dim your headlights!" I was on my feet, yelling at JJ to wake the hell up before I even looked out the window because I KNEW in my BONES what the hell that was. A quick peek from the window of our fifth-story apartment only confirmed this--flames spewing out from the window across the alley from where we live, licking the sides of our building. I could feel the warmth from that blaze from the window.
I'd like to think that I'm an expert in this whole the-fire-is-real-so-lets-evacuate-quickly thing, but I'm totally not. JJ was calm and cool while I was running around with one slipper on yelling about how I wasn't going to leave the cat behind. It was a flurry of motion and movement, but all in all, I think we are both glad I didn't clean too much today, as shoes, jackets, and pants were all readily available on the floor around the bed. Kitty and purse in hand, we darted out the door (all the while I was pounding on our neighbor's doors to wake them up) and ran down the hall to the stairs and out the building. We sat in the parking lot for two hours, unable to really see the progress of the flames and wondering how far that fire got.
We were lucky. Right now, we are sitting comfortably on our couch, soothing Meeko (the fire alarms are still going off and he's a bit freaked out). I know it's always easy to think that this could never happen to you, but please, people. I beg you. You may not be so lucky. ALWAYS evacuate, even if you live in an apartment or dorm building that is notorious for fire alarms for things like burnt pop corn in the basement. Have a plan. Keep important things (animal leash/carrier, passports, wallet, shoes etc.) someplace you won't have to look for them in case of a fire.
|This is the creepy old building the fire was in. As you can see, it's VERY close to us. The fire was probably arson. After all, can you think of a better place for general crime and skullduggery than a creepy abandoned old building like this one?|
For obvious reasons, no I don't have a picture of the blaze. Right now the fire ladder is just outside our window, smoke billowing out, and you can see the flashlights of those hardworking firemen on all the floors of that building.
A video by someone in Lowell. Our apartment is directly across from that covered catwalk.