So, last night (or early this morning, depending on how you look at it), Janice woke me to see the fire. Or, to be specific, the plume of smoke from the fire. It was a few blocks away and we were in no danger, but we cdn't tear ourselves away for the next ninety minutes or so, watching it through the upstairs windows and for brief time out on the deck.
We didn't have a clear line of sight, so we didn't see the fire itself --that is, the flames-- only the smoke, illuminated by the lights from the fire trucks and first responders, the latter of whom twice walked the perimeter.* But there was a LOT of smoke, and it lasted a surprisingly long time. We weren't sure what building it was that was on fire, but eventually settled on one of the apartment buildings near the pond the other side of the elementary school as likeliest, or perhaps one of the school's outbuildings. If the latter, as Janice pointed out, it wd mean fewer people endangered or at risk of losing everything in their home.
It turns out it was the school after all, specifically, the gym, which is the part of Neely-O'Brien the furthest from our building.
Eventually we went to bed. It's not like we were blase, but it had quickly become clear we were in no danger, thanks to the large grassy field separating us from the school's playground, on the far side of which was the school itself. Plus there's only so long you can stand in the dark peering at something you can't see clearly. The cats, for their part, weren't upset by the activity or smell of smoke but clearly wondered wha we were doing up at such an hour, and followed us from room to room, keeping an eye on us to see what else we might do.
Today we took a walk by the site, and except for several emergency vehicles of various types and a hole in the roof at one place you cd go right by past it and never know about the previous night's excitement.
*having seen how bright the fire fighters' flashlights were, we now have superbright flashlight envy.
alternative universe IV
11 hours ago