I was heading to bed at about 1AM on June 1st when I heard what sounded like the cat scratching at the door to get in. When I went out to the living room to get her, I discovered the sound was instead coming from the open window of my Daughter’s room, which faces our neighbor’s house. I smelled smoke. When I looked out the window I could clearly see in the neighbor’s basement window a hazy orange glow.
I threw some clothes on and went outside. There was definitely a fire in the neighbors basement. I banged on their door to let them know, then called 911. They grabbed fire extinguishers and my wife and I grabbed our hose. As I was spraying water into the neighbor’s basement, all I could see was an angry orange cloud. The water seemed to have no effect.
The basement window broke and flames leaped from it, tickling the edge of my house, at which point I dropped the hose and proceeded to remove some belongings from our house. I was able to retrieve:
- my and Bill’s acoustic guitars
- wife’s jewelry box
- USB disk with recent backup of our family video and photos
- fortunately my wallet, car keys, and iPhone were in the pocket of the shorts I happened to put on.
We then proceeded to stand in the parking lot across the street and watch our home burn to a total loss.
I was in shock, and the only thing I could do was send out a few tweets beginning with this one:
We stood outside all morning. By 2AM it was clear our entire attic and roof were on fire. By 4AM it was clear the house was a total loss. Since I had my camera, I was able to take some video: