So my neighbor came downstairs to bang on my front door. "Do you smell smoke?!" she asked? "Now I do!" I said, after having opened my front door.

There was a fire of some sort burning in the house attached to our building. We poked around for a minute. She ran around to their front door and tried to see if they were home. They were not. She saw flames in their back patio--right near my front door. She grabbed the hose. I prepared to call 911, as I had brought my phone out with me.

Moments later, the fire was out. It was small. The fire department arrived. Someone else must have called--probably the group across the street who were staring at us.

The verdict: They smoke. It was probably a cigarette that wasn't properly extinguished.

This bothers me not because they could have burned their house down, but because it is attached to mine, so it could have burned mine down too (as well as my upstairs neighbor).

Posted by jzawodn at October 19, 2002 12:23 PM

Reader Comments
# kasia said:

Couple years ago, in my previous job, my co-worker and I were late in the office trying to meet a deadline and smelled smoke.. Turns out, some secretary who worked in the office next door lit a cigarette with a match, threw the match in the trash can and happily left the building..

By the time they forced the door open (as in the fire dept which we called) her whole desk was in flames..

Scary, if we weren't working late on a deadline the whole place would have burnt down together with our nice, expensive sun workstations.

on October 19, 2002 03:26 PM
# Ask Bjoern Hansen said:

Someone else must have called--probably the group across the street who were staring at us.

Seems pretty dumb if they called 911 but didn't bother to go and bang on your doors and see if they could do anything to put out the fire. Geez.

on October 19, 2002 05:34 PM
# Chris said:

I'll never forget being in a fire in a college dorm. What a trip.

As anyone who has lived in college dorms before knows, mid-AM fire alarms in winter is unfortunately all too common. Apparently, someone now and again thinks it would be a cool joke. NOT.

So, it's about 3am one night, and I here the alarm go off for the second time in 3 days I look over at my roomie and ask "Are you going outside". "No" he says, "and you?". "No" I say. They we here the fire engine. Since we lived close to downtown, fire sirens were the normal nightly background noise.

He chuckles and says, "Yeah, that's probably the fire truck now...". To which I look out the window . Holy Crap, it was!!!!

We open our door to find the hallway completely smoke filled, and quickly shut the door again. Water up some towels to put over our mouths to help breathing, and open the door to haul ass out of there. To hell with crawling on our hands and knees, we needed to haul ass to the end of the floor to get to the stairs. Luckily, they got to the fire before it spread to any other rooms, it was only 4 doors away.

I tell you what, I didn't sleep the next night, and slept not so well for the next 2 weeks. We were lucky.

To make matters worse, about 2 years later, my roomie about burned our garage down in the apartment. I hate fire. My dad used to be a fireman, so I've got that added paranoia from hearing all the stories over the years.

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