Last night I went to the beautiful Grand Illumination in Colonial Williamsburg because I LOVE fireworks. They have THREE fireworks displays that are rivaled by most of the displays around here. It was a lovely night.
So I wasn’t expecting to see fireworks when I got home. I was wrong.
After being out in the cold for hours I was ready to come home and warm up. It was the kind of cold where you are sure that your bones must have icicles on them so I was THRILLED to change into a warm shirt, flannel pajama pants and slipper socks. After the obligatory face washing I hopped into bed, grabbed the current book I am reading  and turned on the space heater. I was VERY excited that the only thing I had left to do for the evening was reach over and turn out the light.
About ten minutes into my studying I noticed that there was a flashing red light outside of my condo. This really isn’t all that unusual because in my complex there are quite a few elderly people or residents with health conditions. Every once in a while an ambulance will go through and the red lights will pass by my window.
These didn’t pass.
After about a minute I went over to the window and pulled back my curtains. To my surprise there were two fire trucks parked in front of my building and one of the firemen was unloading the hose. This wasn’t a medical emergency- it was a FIRE!
My neighbors across the way had smoke billowing out of their windows. Both the residents (one male and one female) were on the sidewalk with an oxygen mask helping them breathe. Since we live in condos there was a big danger of the fire spreading to more than one unit (or potentially my building!). I grabbed my bath robe and ran out to start knocking on doors. By the time I was outside the fire department had already begun removing the other homeowners. The air was starting to smell of smoke but it didn’t look like the fire was spreading.
As I watched the fire fighters put their helmets back on and headed in. I knew there were only two people living in the unit so I figured they were going back in to begin to make sure everything was extinguished. A minute or two later they came out with this little fluffy ball- a cat! As I watched they lovingly petted the cat and held an oxygen mask up to its face so it could breathe easier. It was a very sweet picture.
The owners eventually left to head to the emergency vet for what turned out to be four cats suffering from smoke inhalation. I’m not sure of their prognosis.
It turns out that the dryer in the unit had caught on fire. The most obvious reason for that would be the dryer vent trap catching on fire but I don’t know for sure that is what it was. It has however been a great reminder to me to get the dryer vent trap cleaned out!
So this weekend I will be testing all the smoke detectors and cleaning out the dryer vent trap. I am so thankful everyone is safe- it was an exciting night for my little neighborhood!