Milford, Up in Flames

Today was a normal day.  I didn’t have work, so I stayed home.  Got called in for a job interview (I’ve been looking for a second part-time job for some time now), which I felt I did well at, then came home in time to drive my dad to a side job he needed to work on.  After dropping him off, I came home to this:

That’s my neighbor’s house (their last name is Paradis), two doors down from mine, on fire.
My grandmother and uncle (whom I live with, as well as my father) were on our front lawn, and my first thought was to ask if everyone was alright.  They said yes, everyone got out okay, but the family may have lost a pet.  Their house was insured, so despite the situation, they were well-prepared.

After confirming this, I rushed inside to grab my camera (as a rule, I will NEVER take photos of an accident or disaster unless I know nobody was injured; I wouldn’t want someone doing it to me, so I won’t do it to them).  Once outside, I saw 5 fire trucks, one police car, one ambulance, and two “fire prevention and investigation” vehicles.  There was also a fire engine blocking the entrance to our street at that point (right after I had pulled in).  About 3 blocks worth of people were in front of the home, watching the firemen tackle the blaze quickly, methodically, and as though it was the most natural thing in the world to them.  I snapped a few photos among the crowd, all the while keeping a respectful distance.

I found my cousin, his wife, and their two daughters were outside.  My cousin’s wife was still clutching her house phone, which she had used to call 911 before any of the trucks had arrived (at the time she called, they were already on their way).  As I was standing there, a woman walked up to us and asked if we knew where the residents of the house were.  She said that she knows them, and she wanted to offer her second floor for them to live in, since it was obvious the house was ruined.  We pointed her in the right direction, and I felt proud to have such kind neighbors as her.  I was told later that the woman who lived in the house had been walking around, frantic, and not wearing any shoes.  My aunt (who happens to be my next door neighbor and the manager at a local shoe store) rushed inside and came back out to hand the woman a pair of Ugg slippers so that she wouldn’t be cold.

Halfway through taking photographs, I went to switch lenses–from my kit lens to my 50mm–but dropped the 50mm on the ground.  It hit the pavement and broke into three pieces, so now I have to buy a new lens, but surprisingly, I wasn’t very upset about it.  I was calm and collected just knowing that this house fire was under control, and that the people inside had gotten out safely.  As I walked back to my house to see about buying a new lens, a few more neighbors were in my yard, and one of them (who happens to own a pizza restaurant) was walking towards the owners of the home carrying two large pizzas.  One of my neighbors turned to him and asked where her pizzas were, to which he replied, “well, your house has to burn down first–then I’ll bring you free pizza!”

Now I’m sitting in my kitchen, writing about my not-so-normal day.  The fire trucks and police are still outside, shining a spotlight on the blackened house, making sure the embers don’t re-ignite, but the people have all gone home.  After seeing how my community came together to try and offer these people simple things like shoes and dinner, and even going above and beyond by offering up their homes, I feel proud to live here.

More photos:

<3Renae

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~ by jeezycreezy on March 20, 2012.

One Response to “Milford, Up in Flames”

  1. That’s crazy, what a day! I’m so glad nobody was hurt, except for the possible pet (who probably escaped on his/her own) and your poor nifty fifty 😦

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