Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Another Quiet Night in the Neighborhood

I was all set to write a new blog entry about my Labor Day weekend and the effect autumn has on my wallet and the local soy-based candle industry, but then….excitement. Danger. Horror. And finally, an anticlimactic but relief-filled denouement.

Yes folks, it’s that time of year again. The time when you’re relaxing at home on the couch after a long day of work, watching a late night comedy special on HBO or perhaps a B-flick about humanoids from the black lagoon, when it begins.

You hear sirens.

You see four firetrucks. And two ambulances.

They are parking in front of your house.

Police cruisers screech to a stop, blocking the intersection across from your house and splashing red lights through your living room. In fact, everything is bathed in red strobelights. For a minute you believe your new garage is aflame. Maybe the vandals have struck again…this time, with arson! Then worry churns in your gut. Is it your elderly neighbor Wes?

And other neighbors, perhaps just strangers on their way home from dinner at the restaurant down the street, still bearing the remains of their fried dinners in small Styrofoam boxes, plop down on your corner lot retaining wall or congregate in front of your porch for the best view.

Because another awful event has swung to town, and it’s arrived on your doorstep. Almost one year ago to the day, it was a police standoff. Tonight, although the details are very sketchy (the fire trucks and ambulances are still parked around my house as I write this), it seems our new neighbors have had a small house fire.

The worst, the most shocking and gut-kicking thing, was watching a fire fighter carry our neighbor’s infant grandson out of the house to the ambulance parked in front of our porch.

The baby wasn’t moving.

As I watched that firefighter gently, almost reverently, carrying the silent, tiny baby down a sidewalk I’d swept only hours earlier, I felt a subterranean level of fear I’ve rarely felt. Thankfully, I heard that the baby is going to be alright. I wish I knew more about what happened, but that will have to wait until I read tomorrow’s paper.

So my light-hearted blog entry will be delayed. But this is certainly a good reminder to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and hug your family twice.


21 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, how scary! And here I thought you were going to tell us there was a big shootout at the crazy people's house :)

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  2. Wow. So glad the baby is going to be okay.

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  3. *Gulp*
    That gave me chills...

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  4. Ack! Just the mention of the baby, and here I am practically crying. Glad the baby will be OK. Whew.

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  5. Yikes! You never think this kind of thing could happen to you and then you get a wake up reminder like this! Glad everyone's ok.

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  6. Oh god, house fires scare the living daylights out of me. I'm very glad that everyone is all right, especially the baby.

    I love fire fighters. They are such heroes. I've always thought that - long before 9/11.

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  7. Oh my gosh! What a nightmare!

    When I was a teen, I witnessed a house fire on New Year's Eve caused by a too-dry Christmas tree. The Mom, Dad, and baby were killed, while the two older boys (only maybe 8 and 10) ran around the house looking for them. They refused to believe anyone who told them the truth. When the firefighters had to break a window, the poor boys, who were obviously in shock, told them not to do it because their parents would be mad. Windows are expensive. Sigh.

    I'm so glad your neighbor's baby is going to be okay. Fire's are so so so scary. And firefighter's are amazing.

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  8. I will require an update on that baby. How terrifying! And yet, somehow not surprising based on other reports about those neighbors.

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  9. Good reminders indeed. I hate the noise those things make, but they do save lives and that's all that matters. Glad to hear the boy is fine.

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  10. Please write an update on the baby if you find out more. One of my biggest fears is a house fire. This story freaked me out.

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  11. That is terrifying. I thought for sure you would mention a backyard pool, or an ungated staircase...think I'll go check the batteries in our smoke and carbon monoxide detectors!

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  12. Scarey stuff! ~ jb///

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  13. How awful. And terrifying.

    I'm so glad the baby is going to be okay.

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  14. Oh no. That's horrible! You had my heart fluttering there for a minute. My wishes go out to them.

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  15. that is startling indeed.

    i worry that my crack-head neighbors are going to start a fire with their crack pipes at 3 in the morning and i am going to have to fit my fat ass through our windows. i'll be in the one on t.v. in my t-shirt with no bra complete with screaming children on both hips.

    luckily, our smoke detectors are wired into our home. i don't have to worry about changing batteries. i'm far too lazy to do such things.

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  16. How awful. I hope everyone else is okay and the damage is not too great. It's amazing and terrifying how quickly a fire can destroy a home.

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  17. Whoa....I better go hug my kids.
    *****
    Okay, I'm back.
    I love firefighters. All of my Dad's friends are retired FF, so I always felt safe with them around. They could take care of everything.

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  18. eeep! I hope the baby and family are all ok!!

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  19. Oh my gosh, that's awful! Too many people die in house fires each year. Thank you for reminding people that there are things they can do to lessen the chances that it happens to them.

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  20. I am absolutely TERRIFIED of my house burning down. I don't know how people manage to recoup after losing everything...

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  21. Holy Crap! I was on the edge of my seat, hoping against hope that the baby would be okay :)

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