Incredible afternoon...

January 20, 2008

Having had one of the most gut-wrenching days of our lives yesterday, we decided to go to the St Louis temple today, and we spent a quiet time there. When most of the devotees had left, the temple was deserted; I sang a few songs, and the priest blessed me as being “golden-voiced”, which I took with none of my usual gladness…the singing comforted DnA a lot, and we drove home fairly peacefully.

But we had more excitement…incredibly, the kind of gut-wrenching sights that one cannot believe is happening…. in store…as we drove home, we found a pall of smoke in the cold (very cold…minus 10 deg C) sky, and D remarked that it was rather close to our neighbourhood…and lo and behold, it WAS our street…the house one away from ours on the opposite side of the street was burning fiercely, and there were three fire engines hosing it down. By the time we were allowed to come into the street and into our home, the house was almost just a shell.

These pictures are with the permission of the fire dept and the police, and the owner of the house has said that he would also like some of them for his insurance claims.

Here’s the scene as we entered:

what we saw as we came in 190108

and here’s the devastated front of the house, with high-pressure water playing over it:

the shell of the house...over in 20 mins

picture of devastation

The firemen had been deployed all over: firemen working Here's one intrepid fireman working close to the roof, which was completely gutted and fell in even as we watched: fireman on the roof The police were also there, promptly, and the neighbours gathered, too.... the police and the neighbours The sad thing was, the owner of the house was in a van that was just behind us as we came close to our street; as we stopped, he stopped, too, and a great cry broke from him as he sprinted towards his home. Here he is, getting into the police car. We have offered him any help that he wants with regard to space, storage or stay. the owner of the tears... His wife was out of town, and one of his cars was still in the garage, which was where, apparently, the fire had begun...this was what the back of the house looked like: the back of the house and the garage with the car in it You can see the gutted car still in the garage. And the heat was so intense that this was the damage done to the wall of the neighbouring home: the damage to the house next door DnA immediately made huge lots of sweet, piping hot cocoa, and we went off to offer them to the people working in the intense cold: DnA made cocoa for everyone and distributed it And everyone really appreciated it: the firemen appreciate the hot cocoa

How ironic that just a few posts ago, I had a picture of a fire engine coming out of the fire station…little did I know that I was going to watch so many of them in action, across our street….