Sunday, September 30, 2007


I wrote this (mostly) at the scene.

"The first thing we saw was smoke. Thick, black smoke fills the sky still. Huge and suffocating, I imagine, but - the building is mostly collapsed now - but the wind is taking it away.

It's still there, the fire. I know what they really mean by 'leaping flames' now. They're pouring water all over it, but the fire still goes higher than the buildings next to it. Now they're spraying those ones, so they don't catch it.

I'm about a block away, but I feel the heat on my face and arms, just like sitting close to the campfire, but not so happy.

It was a lumber yard. All that wood. Gone.

We got there before the fire trucks, even. I wonder how big the fire got before someone called it in. A lumber yard on Sunday morning, in a non-residential area, nobody was there, most likely. Well, that's a blessing. And it was only that one building that caught. Probably the smoke tipped whoever it was off. The black smoke of a fire left alone to burn."

[note: I would like to say the fire was red, reminiscent of blood (it's poetic), but it wasn't. It was orange, orange, beautiful and terrible and i couldn't keep my eyes off, sad though it was. We went back last night, Vati and me, but now it's just black things on the ground, and bits of broken glass, and two poles still standing up from the ground like the only survivors. Which they were. Why did i put a simile there? Hm.]


  1. It was somewhat interesting. My book had more lasting appeal.

  2. I have sympathy for whoever owned the lumber yard... But I must say I never mourn over the burnination of wood. (Unless it's someone's *house* that's burning.)

  3. I appreciate your thoughtful comments on the fire, Maggie. I'm sure it must have been quite a thing to behold. I don't recall that I've witnessed an actual fire of that sort. I do remember a most impressive bonfire at a church gathering in Australia, when I was ten or eleven years old. It was impressive, and rather scary, even though it was intentional and under control. Witnessing a fire that isn't supposed to be there, especially one of the size that you have described, would be unsettling. Thank God for His holy angels!