Breaking News: Fire

Your regularly-scheduled Kokura Fashion Report has been pre-empted by curling NHL Playoffs for a news flash about grade-school antics in the House of Commons the neighbourhood fire that woke us up at around 4:30 this morning. Apologies in advance if there are typos, grammar mistakes, and sentences that stop mid-thought. I’m tired and haven’t had a chance to read through this very thoroughly.

Because we live less than a block from a major thoroughfare—and a small fire station with one truck—we usually hear emergency vehicles on their way to deal with er… emergencies. In the wee hours this morning, I heard a fire truck. Then another. Then another. And so on. Usually they just roll past our cluster of buildings but this time they seemed awfully close. We looked out our bedroom window and could hear some activity but couldn’t see anything. So we went to the other side of the apartment, where we saw a couple of fire trucks with their lights flashing.

I saw some smoke rising from behind the building next to ours, and decided to investigate. I took my camera, but it didn’t occur to me to take my tripod. So the pictures that follow are a little blurry. Sorry.

In all, I think there were six or eight trucks. Plus a couple of ambulances, and assorted police cars. I don’t think anyone was injured, since the ambulances have a tell-tale sonic signature that was absent when the emergency crews dispersed.

This is a view of the burning apartment, taken from a parking lot just up the hill. This was a popular viewing location until the rain started. Our building is a hundred-or-so metres to the left.

The flames were pretty intense, but in this picture they look a bit more severe than in reality because I couldn’t hold the camera steady, so there’s a bit of a double image. Plus, at one point the fire crews lit up the flames with spotlights. This might have been after they started doing so.

view of the burning building, from a parking lot up the hilll

Here’s a fire truck parked in front of the building. The hose is connected to a fire cistern. They don’t seem to have hydrants here. The men in the picture are at the entrance to the stairwell that leads up to the burning apartment, which is on the fourth floor directly above the windows on the right edge of the photo.

fire truck parked in front of the building, connected to cistern

Here’s a blurry fire truck. Yes, the guy on the left is smoking a cigarette. In fact, he was lighting up as I prepared to take the picture. It should come as no surprise that I’m not a fireman. If I was, I probably would have slapped this guy. Or given him a blast from a hose.

fire truck with a man standing in front of it enjoying a cigarette

And another blurry fire truck that has just arrived. The black-and-white blur is a fireman using a large flag to direct incoming emergency vehicles.

just-arrived fire truck, with fireman directing traffic with a big flag

Here’s a pair of “morning after” photos. There’s a police officer in the stairwell, probably keeping out nosy foreign photographers. I didn’t feel brave enough to go up the stairs—plus I had to get to work—so I just took exterior shots. But as I biked past the building, I noticed an inspector checking for water damage in the main floor apartment below the disaster zone.

Also, there was an old lady watching the proceedings—there was a bit of coming-and-going of police cars—from apartment next door to the burned-out one. This window is the same one from which the flames were issuing in the first photo of this post.

a burnt-out window, the morning after

And here’s one from the opposite side. People in the neighbouring units seemed to be trying to go about their business. One guy—on the top floor to the right of these balconies—was out having a smoke and trying to peer around the divider to see what things looked like. I should note that this picture is two apartments wide. The window in the previous picture is from the apartment with the burnt balcony in bottom-right of the photo below. I think the blackness on the upper apartments is mostly smoke damage. When I took this picture, I noticed a burst water pipe that was still issuing mist, but I didn’t have a chance to take a detail shot since the rain started coming down more heavily at this point.
burnt and smoke-damaged balconies, the morning after

Lia and I eventually got to sleep again, but Jarrod stayed up building Lego and doing exercises in his English workbook. We’ll see what kind of shape he’s in by the end of the day.

Fashion reports will resume tomorrow. Though if you really really really want to read the next fashion report right away, you know how to ask.

1 thought on “Breaking News: Fire

  1. Jarrod’s been more fearful of such things as late (especially since the earthquakes) and was quite freaked out by the whole thing. I dosed him with what little Bach’s Rescue Remedy we had left, and tried to answer all his questions about how a fire could start in one of the apartments. I’m suspecting someone fell asleep on their futon with their cigarette still lit . . . He’s also still a little traumatized by being stung by a bee on Monday. Life . . . eh?

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