I'm not even sure if she's back yet... but one of my neighbors had a very ... bittersweet Thanksgiving.
Tuesday night I was up late playing video games when the dog came into the living room to whine at me. I figured she'd woken up and was upset that I wasn't in bed with my BF (sometimes she gets agitated if we're not both there where she's sleeping).
Me: *Looks at clock: 0100* OK, dog, I'll go to bed. ... wait, huh?....What's that rumbling motor sound?
I got up and looked out the window and saw... a fire truck parked right in front of my apartment, and a smaller utility vehicle in front of the truck.
At first I figured they were responding to a medical issue, until I saw they were dressed in fire-fighting equipment.
I hadn't smelled smoke, or heard any apartment alarms going off, so I correctly assumed that it was the other set of apartments in my section. Most of the apartments here are arranged in a set of 8 apartments (4 top / 4 bottom), with a covered stairwell to reach the upstairs apartments on each end. Each of these is connected to another set of 8... resulting in a wider "roof" to cover the middle stairwell.
So unless the fire got really bad, it wouldn't spread to our half. Or at least, if it did, we'd have ample warning and more than enough time to grab what mattered and GTFO to safety.
So all there was to do was watch from the window and hope to keep the dog calm. Going out at this point would pretty much be gawking. Not that I wasn't already gawking but, at least I wasn't getting in the way of the firefighters.
It turned out to be the bottom apartment on the outside. Kinda identical to ours, in relation to the other apartments. I found out later that the elderly woman who lives there was away for the holidays. Although coming home to a torched apartment is going to suck ass... she's at least alive. If she'd been there when it happened I'm not so sure she wouldn't have died in her sleep.
From what I found out later... the culprit was an outlet in the kitchen. I'm not sure if there was anything attached to it or not.... although now I'm wondering if it's the outlet that faces the "hallway". (My apartment's the same layout as hers after all, so I know where the outlets are).
At any rate there were no actual flames, just a smoldering fire and *heat*... a lot of heat really. I've been told that the kitchen was pretty much a loss. And when I walked the dog the next day, I could see that the blinds in the "second bedroom" or whatever she uses it for were actually drooping from being melted somewhat.
I don't know if she's home yet. I know her car was moved though. Right now it looks like workers are cleaning up what they can, and taking her stuff out. According to the landlady they're moving her into another apartment, cos it'll be easier to just move her and fix it up as an empty apartment.
I just hope she has renter's insurance.
And as a side note... during this, I kept thinking, "I'm glad my insurance agent upsold me on renter's insurance last year." Cos... it's not just about what damages *I* might do to the apartment, but what damages a neighbor might do too. Or what damages I might cause in someone else's apartment. I mean sure my BF has his own policy but we weren't sure if it would cover me so I got my own last year just to be on the safe side. (besides it lowered my car insurance, so i'm only paying like 5 bucks more total).
But still... what a sucky Thanksgiving for her.
I'm just thankful she was unharmed.