Around 2 a.m. this morning I hear a banging on my door. Somebody is yelling, “There’s another fire.” Needless to say I was asleep and not sure if this was a dream or reality. As I put on some clothes to evacuate the building I think, “There was a fire yesterday. What the hell is going on around here.” As I was out the door my neighbor is leaving her condo. She fills me in on what caused the fire in the lobby yesterday and we quickly leave the building.
I walk outside… I don’t smell smoke, I don’t see fire but I see some flashing lights by the B wing of the building so i walk over. I was walking on the far side of the street toward the lights, the world changes. Women are screaming and pacing hysterically, “It’s all gone, it’s all gone. Why isn’t anyone doing anything?”
As I get closer to lights I still don’t see anything… and then poof. The roof went up in an inferno. I’m not too worried at this point because police and fire engines are already on the scene. About 20 minutes go by and more fire trucks and police arrive but no one is actually putting out the fire. I watch as burning wood roll down the roof and ignites the dry leaves around the building. A woman screams, “Why isn’t anyone doing something?” A man yells, “Put some water on it, Genius!” I’m assuming that they are doing a search and rescue but the fire is spreading and people are sitting here watching their home burn to the ground.
I begin walking back to the side entrance from which I came. My 2 neighbors see I’m going back and ask, “Do you think we have time to get some stuff.” I reply, “I’m going.” They follow. As I dash back into the building. I see other residents running out with all sorts of stuff; TV’s, stereos, an aquarium tank, etc.. As I think it, a woman says it, “Do you really need any of that stuff?”
I run in. I run to the closet and get a change of clothes, my wallet, my book bag and my laptop. I look around and think, “I like this stuff but if it can’t fit in this book bag, I don’t need it.”
I go back outside and people are crowded together in small groups looking in awe at their life changing before there eyes. 2 local news vans have arrived and interviewing my neighbors. As I avoid the news cameras I see them on the move. I follow them. The police bring out a man in handcuffs and we all look dumbfounded.
It’s a resident. I know him, kind of. I have seen him often and gave him a ride to the bus stop a couple years back. He was weird. I often suspected he was on drugs… REAL DRUGS. He had a wife and 2 young kids. I can’t put it past him but I can’t understand why some one with so much to lose would do something so reckless.