Wednesday night, I drove home from my book club meeting to get a book for a friend. As we pulled into my apartment complex, we saw that the area near my apartment was completely blocked by fire crews and emergency tape. A firefighter was kind enough to let me under the tape, but I couldn’t go in my home, as it was filled with smoke, and I am pregnant. They put up a fan and my friend ran in for me, grabbing my laptop, some underwear, important files, and my external. That was all she could get.
While all this was going on, another friend landed. She is also pregnant (32 weeks with a girl), and had planned to live with me until she could find a new place. Our husbands are both deployed to the same base in Afghanistan. Because she is from Northern California and temporarily had no address here, I accepted all of her registry gifts, which meant that they were in my apartment. Her stroller, car seat, playpins, etc, are all in there and we have no idea when we will be allowed in.
As I was talking to Red Cross, the book club friend ran and got the pregnant friend from the airport. Both of us have been spending the night with book club friend. Since she had a large queen bed and we are good friends, we just shared the bed, there were five people sleeping in that bed (I’ve got twin boys).
I went back in the morning to do tv interviews, and see if I would be allowed in. An investigation was underway, which determined that the fire was caused by an unattended propane-powered wok. It ignited, then caught water heater on fire.
Here is the front of the apartment complex. A closeup of an apartment. The back of the apartments where most of the damage occurred. The top apartment in this photo is next to mine. That apartment had both fire and water damage. Another view of the most damaged apartments. The fire fighters dumped so much water on the place, there were puddles around the complex.
A few hours after those pictures were taken, they boarded up the place. We have no idea when we will be allowed in or if anything is damaged inside. I have renter’s insurance, but there are important books, pictures, etc, in there that would be impossible to replace.
I’ve been thinking that I need to move to a new place. Even if there is nothing wrong with the apartment, they will need to do major renovation of the apartments next to mine, which will be noisy. Not good with too small infants. I’m not sure if I’m legally allowed to get out of my lease yet, but we’ll see.
This is the first fire I, or any of my close friends and family members, have been in. If anyone has any advice, tips, suggestions, I’d appreciate it! I’d also recommend having copies of all your important papers and files close to the door so that they are easy to grab if something goes wrong.