[crossposted to both the blog and the livejournal]

In the shadow of Katrina and Rita, a single fire seems a minor concern. For my neighbors, it wasn’t.

At about 1:30 this morning I witnessed the burning of an apartment building about 50 yards from my front door. The aftermath was shocking. The building went up and was completely in flames within 30 minutes, and possibly less than that.

It wasn’t my building, but as I could feel the heat from my front door.

I had looked at an apartment in that same building when I moved in, and decided against it because the kitchen was too cramped.

There have been camera crews, reporters, firemen, police, news helicopters, ambulances and utility repair vehicles all over this place today. Coming back to my apartment felt like checking onto Patch Barracks; I was stopped (even when I came on foot from the bus stop) by policemen, wanting to know who I was and if I lived here. The roadblocks have been disassembled now, but most of the crews are still working.

This post will likely be edited: I have much more to tell, but a dose of normalcy is called for. I’m probably going out with my sister and Viki, when Becca calls back in a few minutes.


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