Friday, May 5, 2017

Fire on Wednesday!

Not at my house, thank goodness, but my neighbors' to the left of me.  Their garage caught fire for the second time in the past 3 years! 

As a result, I've been without internet connections since Wednesday afternoon!

Wednesday morning, I went to the office and had a fairly productive morning and early afternoon.  I completed one of the projects I was working on, gave updates on two of the other projects, and celebrated the birthday of one of my colleagues (we all gathered in the conference room to share a cheesecake!)  I received a phone call from the dental clinic confirming my appointment for the next day and asking if I can come at 3:30 p.m., instead of 3:00 p.m.

Shortly after that, around 3 p.m., I received a phone call from my cousin who lives across the street from me, saying that the garage of the house next door to mine was on fire and although the fire fighters were at the scene, putting out the blaze, I had better come home.  She sounded really scared.  I informed my supervisor, who immediately told me to go home.   On my drive home, I was praying that my house will be spared any damage and I was hoping that poor Dancer was alright.

When I turned into my street, I could see at least 6 or 7 fire trucks lining the street.  One was parked such that its open doors were blocking the entrance to my driveway, where fire hoses were laid out.  I pulled into my other neighbor's (neighbor T, to the right of me) driveway and parked there.  I was trying to call her from my cellphone to ask her if it was OK for me to park in her driveway (there was no room to park on the street), when she came out from her neighbor's house, looking white as a sheet and shaking.  Apparently, one of the embers landed in her backyard and started a small grass fire there!  Also, she had no phone service, she told me, as the fire had damaged the phone lines that ran behind our houses.  I told her I'll check on my house and then, come back.  


Fire Hoses in my Driveway


By the time I got home, the fire had been put out although there was still some smoke visible and the fire fighters were up on the neighbor's garage roof, opening it up to vent it:

Fire Fighter on the Neighbor's Garage Roof





The smell of smoke was very strong:


Fire Fighter Venting the Roof




There is perhaps three feet between the garage, which has been converted into an unpermitted dwelling unit, and the side wall, with one of my guava trees growing right against the wall (and branches growing over the wall!)

A Bit Hazy from the Smoke




The fire fighters were there for a long time, making sure everything was under control before they left.

The Damaged Roof




Some embers had fallen into my back yard:


Embers in my Backyard





I was glad that the "lawn" had been mowed the week before and I had watered the garden over the weekend:



More Embers in my Backyard

Although my grass is mostly dead, nothing caught fire.  I did find a burnt branch in the orange, tree, but it had not spread!  My house was not damaged by the fire and that is truly a blessing!

After I checked the backyard and located Dancer hiding under my bed, I walked over to the neighbors whose garage burnt.  The lady of the house was sitting on a chair in the sidewalk, crying; a family member by her side.  She hugged me when she saw me and I asked her if she needed anything (the family member translated for me and said she didn't need anything).  Then, I went to check on my other neighbor, T.  As she was without phone service and needed to call her daughter, I called her daughter for her.  Then, I went home and called my supervisor to let her know that everything was OK.  I had phone service as my home phone is not a landline.

On Wednesday, I was grateful for:
- No one got hurt in the fire
- My neighbor's main house was undamaged
- My house was undamaged
- My garden was undamaged
- Dancer was OK
- I had electricity and phone service, even if no internet and TV

My neighbor S who lives across the street from me called later in the evening.  She said she and neighbor E who lives nextdoor to her, came over and knocked on my door to check on me during the fire.  I thanked her and said I had been at work!  

I missed not having internet service!  For the first time since my daughter went to Berkeley, I couldn't video chat with her!  I read in the evening and actually went to bed a little after midnight (early for me!)  Not having internet service, however, was just a minor inconvenience.   I feel truly blessed and grateful that the house was not damaged!

18 comments:

  1. What an eventful day and unfortunately not in a good way.
    I have to admit I was worried yesterday when there was no post from you. I visited your blog several time, as for some reason my Blogger likes to unfollow randomly and I don't always notice, but with you posting every day I thought something was up.
    What a blessing no one was hurt and your property is ok. I hope Dancer hasn't been too upset by all the goings on too and that everything gets back to normal for you as soon as possible.
    Sending much love. X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it was quite an eventful day, and a blessing that no one was hurt and nothing happened to my house. Dancer is fine now. One of my cousins said she's going to get me some stickers to put on the windows alerting fire fighters that there is an indoor cat, so that they'll know in the future, if needed.

      Thank you for being concerned and checking back frequently! If the outage continued much longer, I would have either gone to the library to post or asked my daughter to post an update for me. I always tell my daughter, if anything happens to me, update my blog! LOL. Hope all is well with you, Jules.

      Delete
  2. Oh, what a scary day, but I'm glad no one was hurt. Several years ago, one of the houses in our cul de sac caught fire and the scene was much like the one you describe. Luckily, no one was hurt but one of the little boys' pet snake died. What impressed me the most was to see the firefighters in action. They are amazing people to do the job they do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you, Live and Learn. Firefighters do an amazing job!

      Delete
  3. Oh my dear, how terrifying. I shed tears when I read your post. Your driver home from work must have been nail biting. The stickers for your cat sound like a very good idea. I checked several times to see if you had posted. I was certainly worried about you.

    Sandh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandy, believe me, I was praying the whole time! I kept thinking of Dancer having no place to go, if my house had caught fire, too. I'm just so grateful that nothing happened!

      Thank you for checking; I knew several of my readers would wonder what happened. When I tell my daughter she'll have to update my blog if I can't post for a few days, she asks me why, and I tell her that I have friends who worry about me! :)

      Hope all is well with you and you are not affected by the floods.

      Delete
  4. Thank goodness you're ok Bless, with all the dry grass things could have been a lot different. Will the fire department make a note of the unpermitted dweling or is it not in their remit? xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Suzanne. Yes, it is a blessing! Had it happened last week, when we had all that wind blowing, things might have been very different!

      I really don't know if the fire dept. will report the unpermitted structures. They might note it on their reports, but, I don't know if they are required to report it to the City's Building and Safety department. This area has so little affordable housing that almost everyone has converted their garages illegally into rental units. It's just a fact of life.

      Delete
  5. SO glad you're okay. I believe I heard something on the news about a garage fire in LA. I live in Ontario, CA and work in Covina so I always listen to KFI and 1070 for traffic reports and news. Glad everything is ok now and you're back online.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you; yes, so glad that nothing happened to my house and yard. Especially as the fire skipped my yard and set a grass fire in my other neighbor's yard!

      Delete
  6. That kind of excitement gets the adrenaline moving and the blood flowing. And to think you were feeling like a slug yesterday and not wanting to do much at all. What a difference a day can make. So glad to hear that no one was hurt. There was no damage to your property. There was only a little inconvenience of no cable or internet. Reading a book and listening to music sounds like a lovely change of pace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely feeling blessed, Susan! It apparently took quite a few firefighters to put out the blaze, so it must have been a big fire! Screen-free evenings are definitely a change of pace! LOL!

      Delete
  7. That must have been so scary! I'm glad that your home had no damage and no one was hurt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Debbie. I am very grateful that no one was hurt and my home was undamaged. On my drive home, I was wondering where I could go if my house was damaged!

      Delete
  8. So happy your house is ok.. How scary..
    Hope the smoke does not act up your asthma. Praying for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Judy. Yes, I, too, was concerned about the asthma, but, so far, so good! :)

      Delete
  9. What a blessing that your home escaped damage snd that no one in your neighborhood was injured or worse ... that was too close for comfort. Poor Dancer ... can imagine all the loud siren noise was frightening for him. Have they determined the cause of the fire?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carolyn, it is certainly a blessing! Things could have been definitely worse. I found out that it took some 26 firefighters more than 30 minutes to put out the fire! And even after that, they were here for hours, making sure that there were no smouldering embers.

      I don't know if they determined the cause of the fire. I assume some faulty wiring, perhaps.

      Delete

Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting. Your comments are much appreciated.