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Woke up to my neighbors house on fire

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by petrus61, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    So I got up early Tuesday morning around 5:15am for a drink of water. While I was in my kitchen, I heard my local emergency siren (fire house) blaring and thought "It's something very bad when that goes off at this hour."

    I looked up at my clock and realized my dark kitchen was glowing a weird hue of orange. After "***?" I peeked out the front window and saw one of the most horrible sights...my neighbors home across the street fully engulfed in a raging inferno...and not a fire truck in sight. It was surreal, like someone had lit a bonfire in the middle of the woods (I'm rural) and dropped this poor guys trailer on top of it. One look at it pretty much told me that if he was indeed in there, he was dead.

    I dialed 911 and they were already on their way (hence the siren). About 15 minutes later the fire trucks arrived and immediately started dousing the flames. People don't appreciate a firemans work sometimes until you see them in action. They had the flames extinguished within the hour and the last truck left the scene by 6:45am.
    I assumed the fact they didn't hang around pointed to my neighbor not being home at the time. It's the only trailer on my street an one of the few in town, appearing to date back to the 60's and made of aluminum. Now it's just a door frame. Gawkers are still cruising by and I can smell the acrid rubble, as its basically my front yard dividing my house from it. It's been so dry an so many leaves...I'm glad I got my leaves done before this happened.

    The neighbor wasn't seen or heard from until yesterday. He was in the yard burying his dog who was in the fire apparently. I've seen some crazy things, but waking up to that is otherworldly in its creepiness and downright scary. I feel for him, as his life seems to be a long series of unfortunate events and will say a prayer.
  2. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    wow, that's crazy! I feel for your neighbor, thankfully it didnt spread to your place!
  3. pica

    pica Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    15 minutes for the fire trucks to arrive seems like a long time to me. And that's after you had called them, and you said they were already dispatched. Luckily no one was hurt.
  4. That is rough. My dad is on the local volunteer fire department and watching them work is very impressive.

  5. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Thats what I was thinking. Granted, we do have a small volunteer dept but it seemed like forever.
  6. THand


    Jun 9, 2008
    When I was in high school, I had a very similar experience. I woke up at 3am and my bedroom was an orange glow. I looked out the window and the neighbors house was an inferno. Luckily, they all got out in time, but I guess I will never forget how confusing it was...surreal is right...it was hard to tell if it was really happening or if I was dreaming.
  7. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    As someone who has experienced one first-hand, house fires are terrible. And they take with them all kinds of totally irreplaceable things. I feel bad for anyone in that position, whether I know them or not.
  8. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    It was like a nightmare really. I was already foggy headed just waking up and I froze for a minute when I saw it. The thought of approaching it to see if he was ok crossed my mind for half a second but one look said it all. There was really nothing I could do but call 911. I really thought he was done for. He's home almost every night. He just happened not to be this particular night.
  9. icks


    Jul 12, 2001
    Charleroi, Belgium
    The barn across the street burnt when I was 8 or so. I know what you, guys, mean when you say "orange glow".
  10. Milk


    Sep 16, 2013
    Montreal, Canada
    Earlier this year the two houses right next to my gf's house in philly (she lives with me in Montreal most of the year but still has a place with a roommate in the US which she goes back to sometimes) caught on fire. These were those famously dangerous Philly rowhouses so she was lucky the fire stopped before hers. Of course her house filled with smoke and she was evacuated but managed to get back in just long enough to remove her cats...if she hadn't they'd have died from the smoke. The thing though that i didn't know, is that because the fire was so close it made her place a health hazard and she was not allowed back in her house for two months because they needed to clean the house an repair pipes that had broken and flooded the basement and all that stuff. Though to be fair she could have moved back in sooner if the landlady had been faster with all the work (how do you think it would have taken if this would have been her own house....).

    Nobody in the houses died, but sadly a fire chief did, he was on the roof of one of the places putting out fire and what not when the roof collapsed. It made the news locally. One of the houses was actually a fabric shop, and that's naturally where the fire started. I strongly suspected an insurance scheme because the fire started in the middle of the day and yet no one was in the shop when it did... but i don't know (i mean I think if you had to start a fire to your shop and didn't want to cause anyone's death in the neighborhood, you'd do it when they're at work or at least all awake to notice it, as was the case. And this was open hours for the shop..so why wasn't it open. Its not like you'd need an incriminating accelerant to start a fire to afabric shop either....the fabric is the accelerant)
  11. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Guy I went to HS died in a house trailer fire. It was an old one with a single door up front where the living room was. It was down in the wee hours of morning and his TV caught fire. Those old trailers were built of wood and vinyl with an aluminum skin and once they caught fire they were fully engulfed in minutes. Anywho, the TV caught fire and it spread to the rest of the place so quick the guy never woke up.
  12. DerHoggz

    DerHoggz I like cats :| Banned

    Feb 13, 2009
    Western Pennsylvania
    Much worse than anything I've ever woken up to...
  13. House fires are definitely the scariest things ever. That's a life (or death) change I can't comprehend dealing with.
  14. My parents' neighbors' house got struck by lightning on a clear day, which was very odd in and of itself. The bolt started a very slow fire that ended up taking out a bedroom and part of the attic. They weren't home, so it was allowed to spread. Smoke detectors did their job, but nobody was home to hear it and call the fire department.

    Since that incident, I got smoke detectors and a carbon monoxide detector that are hard wired to my security system.
  15. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    We had something like this happen about 15 years ago. We were renting a house in a marginal neighborhood, woke up about 3 am or something to shouting in the street, there was a crowd in the street yelling at the house two doors down from ours. Went out in the street and it was totally ablaze. The flames were starting to lick against the house next to ours and we were afraid it was going to keep spreading, but the fire department arrived pretty quickly. The house was a total goner and two dogs died inside it. The occupants were a gay couple and we were afraid at first it had been some kind of attack on them, but it later turned out one had dropped a cigarette in the couch. They both got out safely with a third dog. The neighbor's house (between ours and the one that burned) had vinyl siding and it was all melted and twisted down the side of the house, but apart from replacing that they came out without major damage.
  16. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    WOW...so glad to hear it didn't spread to your house. Sad about the neighbor's dog.
    Our dog is just as much a part of the family as the kids for us.
  17. Been there too. I was in middle school and it was about a year after my parents split. My mom was living in a second story apartment and it was my mom, my 2 sisters and I there that night. At around 3 am one of my sister starts tearing through the apartment yelling "FIRE, FIRE!" waking us all up to a fire at the front (and only) door, so with nowhere else to go we all went out on the back porch to get out of the smoke. Luckily for us the FD was pretty much just a few blocks away and was able to get us down off the porch and get the fire extinguished before there was too much damage, but the whole thing was pretty damn scary.

    The cause of the fire was never discovered, but a day later my mom found a half burned piece of paper sticking out of the gas tank of her car. We're pretty sure it was this sketchy ex-boyfriend of hers named Dave. Too bad she only found it after going through a car wash, as any fingerprints were well washed away.

    There is a bright side though. We now have an infinite source of crap to give my mom from when the fireman came to get us off the porch with a ladder and the first thing out of her mouth was "Yeah, I don't do ladders," to which the fireman responded "well you do today lady!" :D

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