Where there’s smoke, there’s fire

Last night, as I reported on my Hack Bend blog, the house across the street caught fire. It wasn’t terribly serious, as these things go: some hot embers from the chimney landed on the wood shake roof and sparked into flames. But the fire department came out in full force; there were four engines, the fire chief’s (or whomever’s) SUV, an ambulance, and police closing off the street.

The weird thing is, we didn’t hear any of the emergency vehicles arrive, but other people in the neighborhood told us they heard them coming. Instead, around 6:20 I started noticing a rumbling noise coming from outside, but we were eating dinner and I didn’t think much of it—nothing that couldn’t be checked until we were done, anyway. It was my wife who took something out to the garage that heard the noise, too, and went to the window to see what it was.

Imagine our surprise!

So we ran outside and rubbernecked along with the rest of the neighborhood. Smoke was still rising from the roof next to the chimney while we were there; our neighbor next door told us she had seen the flames when she came out. They were still hosing the roof down, but got the smoke under control pretty quickly. After that, they tore out the chimney and the part of the roof that was (presumably) still hot and/or smoldering.

Nobody was hurt. According to the KTVZ article, the fire did $25,000 worth of damage, with minor smoke damage inside the home.

Here’s some of the pictures I took (when I finally had the presence of mind to run back in the house for the camera):

Fire trucks on the scene

Fire hydrant pumping water

Fire fighters clearing the roof after a house fire

Fire fighters clearing the roof after a house fire

Fire fighters clearing the roof after a house fire

Apologies for the mediocre quality of these pictures… it was dusk and the low-light conditions along with the zoom was enough to get the point, but some came out shaky. And actually, when it was starting to get really dark, they brought one of the engines over with a set of bright spotlights to illuminate the scene:

Fire truck at dusk lighting up the scene

You can see the light pole sprouting up from the top of the truck. And here’s a shot of the lighted-up scene at full dark:

Fire truck lighting up the scene at night

I actually think this last picture is kind of cool. Unfortunate set of circumstances, but you know what I mean.


2 Replies to “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire”

  1. Wow, you get a fire hydrant in your neighborhood? I’m jealous. And that fire is exactly the reason why we switched to a gas stove this year – after 25+ years of woodstoves. A couple of close calls with the chimney fire potential had me really creeped out (and, yes, we cleaned our chimney pipe every year).

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