It 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.
So, 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…