Sunday’s are supposed to invite rest and relaxation, however, this was like no other Sunday I anticipated. Saturday evening was great. I stumbled upon a public showing of Waking Life in an old art studio downtown. We enjoyed tea and sat on a variety of vintage chairs watching one of my favorite films. Afterwards I was feeling very reflective and philosophical so I read some and went to bed early.
Around 4:22am my ears caught the sound of rain. I lay there enjoying the drops hitting my window hoping it would only add to my already adventurous dream. Something wasn’t quite right, the rain was very sporadic. My eyes opened too a bright orange filled room. I glanced at my clock, 4:23am. Sun doesn’t rise this early, nor does it shine through my north window. Decided to peak through my blinds only to be presented with hellish flames swallowing the building thirty feet away from me. Fear, only to be overcome by panic. What do I grab? Where are my pants, shoes, glasses? Grab film negatives, laptop and the first camera you see. Bolting for the door I said a quick goodbye to my apartment just in case. Seven fire engines, dozens of Springfield’s finest firefighters, and gallons of water later the fire subsided. By the graces of god all twenty one residents were safe with no injuries. My building, amazingly unscathed. The same couldn’t be said for my neighbors.
As they salvage their charred homes with boxes from the Red Cross, hoping to find those few untouched items I can’t help but think how fragile we are. Lives weren’t lost but they are changed.
The cause was attributed to a single cigarette. Astonishing how such a small item of bad habit can disrupt and endanger the lives of innocent people. I’m moving to a new apartment soon and I plan to purchase a fire extinguisher, renters insurance, learn more about gas stoves and equip every room with a smoke/carbon monoxide detector. Thank you Firefighters, Red Cross and Police. We are indebted to the extraordinary service and care you provide.