At 3:45 this morning I woke up suddenly and looked outside. There were no alarms going off, no sirens in the distance, no people around, and the not yet occupied three story town house across the street was completely engulfed in flames that were shooting at least another two stories into the sky. The only sound was the crackling and splitting of very hot wood. By the time I had my wits about me and was pulling on my jeans a guy was outside shouting “Fire! Wake up! Fire! Everybody wake up!”. We phoned 911 and were told that trucks were already on the way. Outside the heat was incredible. The fire completely burned down two new townhouses that were under construction but were standing and had roofs and windows, it gutted the townhouses next door, destroyed the condo on the other side, set the roof of the independent movie house on fire and melted our next door neighbors vinyl siding. Every time a news station interviewed a fire chief we listened in and learned that no one was injured. The fire department got the flames under control at around 6:30, and the remains were still smoking at noon.
So, double check your renters insurance, phone your relatives, hug your loved ones, make sure your smoke alarms are working, and leave a large tip for the people who work in the coffee house with free wireless. And, posting here will be slow until the phone company manages to replace the lines which, as far as we can find out, have melted together.