Fire, Part II

Fire photo albumIt took longer than expect­ed to post pic­tures of the fire. Here are the details:

We had a lit­tle fire in our build­ing on Fri­day after­noon.

Fri­day, around noon, my girl­friend Pres­ley was at home… and she heard a bump—which she thought sound­ed like a neigh­bor drop­ping some­thing. Short­ly there­after, the build­ing fire alarm went off and she approached the door. There was some smoke com­ing in.

So, she opened the door, and saw that the hall­way was filled with black smoke. She couldn’t tell where the fire was com­ing from, so she closed the door and called 911. They told her to stay put, and put a wet tow­el under the door.

She grabbed our cat Katya and put her in her crate, and opened the win­dows… wait­ing for the fire­men. Final­ly, 20 min­utes lat­er, 4 guys came crash­ing through our door with axes and O2 masks, and checked to make sure she was okay. Of course she was, she just want­ed to get the heck out of there.

Fire photo albumSo, they decid­ed it was too dan­ger­ous to go out through the hall­way, so they start­ed axing the heck out of our front win­dows, rip­ping the frames right out of the wall. They helped Pres­ley onto one of those lad­ders, and helped her walk down to safe­ty. One of them car­ried the cat down too, who was remark­ably calm for a change.

Once she was on the ground, she called me, and I left work.

As far as we know, the cause of the fire was this:

The apart­ment next door to us was vacant for about a month—so they must’ve had trou­ble fill­ing it—so they decid­ed to refin­ish the hard­wood floors. When con­trac­tors were sand­ing the polyurethane, they appar­ent­ly didn’t turn off the gas. I’m not sure what the con­nec­tion was that start­ed the fire, but the “bump” that Pres­ley felt was some kind of explo­sion. It could also be relat­ed to the polyurethane fumes and a lack of prop­er ven­ti­la­tion.

They had the entire block roped off, and as far as I know no peo­ple or pets were injured (includ­ing Pres­ley and Katya). The fire­men were real­ly great, as were the Red Cross, EMTs and the city of Cam­bridge. With the excep­tion of glass, no win­dows, and smoke, we have no fire or water dam­age.

We stayed in a Bed & Break­fast for the week­end, and we are now stay­ing with friends—so we are set­tled and com­fort­able.

Time to look for a new apart­ment…

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