|A typical building - there are two more attached units to the right of these two|
Thanks to some heads-up thinking by painters who have been working on our complex, the resident was alerted and got himself and his kid to safety (wife wasn't home).
|The next day (our townhouse is behind and to the right of the tree on the right)|
|Another view - flames leaped from left side of garage up to|
roof soffits and completely destroyed the attic / roof
The one-car garage unit between our house and the burned-out house was not burned, but was damaged by smoke and water. Our unit was spared.
A neighbor across the way had a surveillance camera that caught some of this on video. Here is a link to the video . Note the timing and how quickly this went from almost nothing to raging inferno!!
I'm not showing this for entertainment or for the shock value. I'm showing this to get you to ask yourselves a question: do you have a plan in case of emergency - be it fire, flood, tsunami, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, etc.? You can't believe how fast something can turn really bad.
So, do you have a plan? My wife and I have been talking about this. We didn't have a plan before. We do now. It includes knowledge of where fire extinguishers are and how to use them, exit plans, what to get out of the house (people, pets, computer). It includes periodic checking of smoke alarms and periodic review of the plan so we know what to do. And I'm going to set a calendar reminder every three months to review the plan.
This has the whole neighborhood shaken up. It's three days later and I'm still shaky - and our unit wasn't even damaged. But it could have been if it were not for an aggressive fire chief and crew (those guys and gals kicked ass).
By the way - this complex had another fire that destroyed two units about 10-12 years ago (before we moved here). The cause of the fire was oily rags balled up and thrown into a bin. The owner had been staining a deck with some kind of oil based stain. The rags heated up and spontaneously combusted. Sound familiar? We woodworkers have heard about this so many times (and many of us have doubted that it could happen).
Have a plan. Review it periodically. It could save your life.