I know I said I wasn't going to be available much this week but today, as I was running an errand for said upcoming party, I happened upon something I hope to never again witness. And I wanted to share it while it was fresh in my mind.

There is something to be said for watching a fire consume an entire building. As I watched at least 30 apartments be completely destroyed today, all I could think about was the people who lived there. As pieces of burnt items came floating over my head and landed at my feet, I couldn't help but pray and pray and pray... pray that everyone was able to get out of the building, pray that those who lived there were insured, pray they all have a roof over their head tonight. I wonder - what can I do?

The Lynnview Apartments estimate between 80 & 100 people lived in those 30 units. I did hear that the Red Cross was there, helping those victims of that fire but still... I feel like... I watched it, I was there. I need to do something. I'll be looking into it but that part of the story I will probably keep private. I have no need to document that.

The fire, however...I did take a few pictures. When I first saw it, I was in my car so I couldn't take first impression pictures. They would have been powerful, too, let me tell you. The fire engulfed the entire side of the building I could see. It was a wall of flames from the ground to the roof. There was very little in the way of smoke at the point. By the time I could take pictures, the fire department had already started to knock the flames back and the water caused the massive plume of smoke.

My pictures don't do that fire justice. It was an overwhelming sight. In a bring me to tears kind of way. I actually felt sick to my stomach watching it. I had to walk away when I started having problems breathing for all of the smoke. I can't imagine what it's like for those fighting those fires. Yes, they have gear but...it can't keep it all out.

One last thing I will mention - people are already complaining at how long it took for the emergency crews to respond to this fire. What they're saying, though, blames the firefighters. Let me say that what I saw on the highway makes me angry. People in their cars NOT MOVING TO THE RIGHT. I watched a ladder truck inch its way up Hwy. 99 because no one wanted to move out of the way. Then, as it was in the left turn lane trying to get through an intersection, I watched a car jump in front of it. Essentially cutting off the firetruck... Seriously. The truck had lights flashing, sirens blaring and this person jumps in front of it.
I spoke to a woman in the parking lot who said she was on the phone to 911 at the beginning of the fire, etc. and was surprised at how long it took the fire department to get there. I told her about traffic, about people not moving out of their way and yet... ??? Still the fire department's fault somehow. Where do people get this stuff???????

Sirens & lights? Move to the right...

It's a no-brainer.

But if people don't move? It's not the emergency personnel's fault, folks - no matter how much you want to affix blame there.

I need to go eat dinner. I'm a bit steamed... can ya' tell?


Parsley said...

This kind of fire is really scary. My husband works on a VOLUNTEER fire dept and I think I'd be STEAMED if someone were to blame them for not coming fast enough. Anyone who complains needs to put on the gear and fight a fire just one time...just once! Yes...I too have seen people not move out of the way. Too busy talking on the phone or listening to loud music to hear or pay attention!

HeathahLee said...

I totally understand your frustration!

Sound Man and Kiddo were on their way to hunt one VERY early morning last winter, when Sound Man saw a house that had smoke billowing out from the chimney. Thinking it didn't look right he stopped and ran to the house...by the time he got to the door he could see flames shooting out from the attic windows. Long story short (you can read the rest of the story here) he was so frustrated by the people he watched slow down, see there was a fire, yet keep on driving. Now, someone could have called 911 in their car, but no one else stopped to check on the family.

What if it had been THEIR family in that house (or apartment)?