Right there in the house behind mine.
I had to call them because the idiot that rents the house next door (on the left) has been using this property as his own personal dumping ground and ashtray. Except he doesn't stub his cigarettes out before tossing them casually into the abandoned house. Miss Mary called it. She said all of that dry stuff would catch on fire one day. And wouldn't you know it? Today was the day. It has been incredibly windy all weekend. Like - my laundry flying sideways kind of windy:
I went downstairs to start another load because in this wind it dries in about 15 minutes. I happened to look out my back door to see smoke coming up from the back of that abandoned house. I ran to see if Mr. El was still in the front but he wasn't. What I thought he could do I have no idea. By the time I got back to my back door the flames were leaping up above the crashed in wall about a foot. All the smoke blowing into my yard and I knew I had to call 911. Where's my phone?! Upstairs. Ran upstairs, called, and I think they were there in about five minutes. Not kidding. Because the fire was in the back of the house, I would have to point out which house it was to the fire fighters so the operator asked me to meet them at the corner and direct them. I had enough time to go outside and look at the fire one more time (why?! to make sure it was still there??) and then hustled to the corner. A guy walked passed me and then came back and told me - There's smoke up there! I know! I said. And then we heard the sirens. I am only three blocks from the station, but still, I am amazed at their quick response. Maybe they were on alert because of the windy day.
Less than 1/2 hour later the flames were out and it was all over. But I am still shaking. I realize what I was most terrified of was an ember or something flying over to my house. Either to my huge, dry, Newport Pine or worse, my roof. Thankfully, that did not happen. Thank goodness I was home too. I had just gotten back from a 2-hour bike ride.What if no one had noticed until the whole house was up in flames? Ugh. I hate to think. A great big thank you to the Philadelphia Fire Department and to the powers that be that this wasn't worse.
And now, I wonder what will happen next for the property. Will it have to be torn down? Just a few weeks ago I was looking through it to the original stained glass windows. I wish I could buy it to control what happens on that space. But who's got money for that?
And so, now, I think I will go outside and remember to appreciate what I have and be thankful. Yesterday was spent enjoying my beautiful garden. More crocuses have come up and the first daffodil has smiled on us.
As always, Jacques was very helpful.