Trust me, THIS is not something you want to see parked in front of your house when you arrive home in the afternoon.
I was leaving the local grocery store when a lady pointed to my street and said "about 5 fire trucks just turned down that street and there's a big billow of smoke over there." The "over there" she was referring to was in the direction of my home - where my husband and two of my daughters were. My heart leapt into my throat and I started running home. By the time I got to the intersection a block and a half from my home, the police had blocked off the road, and another 2 fire trucks were racing down my street. Two others were parked directly in front of our house.
I raced home, not sure what I'd find. Part way there though, I realized that Marcel was on the sidewalk in front of our house, looking across the street. That's when I realized that the smoke was coming from the area where he was looking, and our house was okay. I took a deep breath, and my heart slowed to just a little above normal.
As it turned out, one of the units in the co-op housing complex across the street was on fire. We don't know anyone who lived in that building, but we do know several people in the complex. And we later found out that Marcel's cousin used to live in that building. From what we've heard, the only casualties were a couple of house cats. What's really disturbing is the fact that someone was hauled into a police car, suggesting that it's a suspicious fire. I guess we'll wait for the evening news to find out any other details.
For now, I'm feeling alot of mixed emotions. Relief that my family and home are safe, fear that there may have been an arson at work in our neighbourhood, and great sadness for the people (possibly 4 families since there are 4 units in each building) who have lost their homes. A house fire has always been one of my greatest fears - especially since I've been a mom. I hope the people who used to live there have a bed to sleep in tonight, and I hope their sleep is not haunted with nightmares.
This is what it looks like now - after the fire trucks have all left. I can't imagine losing everything I own in the short time it took the flames to tear that place apart.