I awoke this Caturday to see news about a tragic and terrible fire in nearby Oakland. At this point there are 9 confirmed dead and approximately 25 missing. If there’s one thing I truly fear, it’s fire. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims as they wait for news.
The fur people have been enjoying the windows more these days. The mulberry trees that gave us so much summer shade have been pruned heavily for winter. That makes the windows sunnier to the delight of the pointy eared people who soak up every sunbeam they can find.
Our weather has turned rather cold (for us) and the heaters are working hard at night. No rain for a while, but soon we hope. We didn’t make any day trips this last week as other chores got in the way. However, Lastech has been taking a few pics here and there.
It’s certainly fire season and it’s probably going to be a really bad one. The drought and bark beetles have killed millions of trees and the rains promoted a lot of grass growth. The grasses are now dry and highly flammable. There have been multiple fires in CA and the rest of the Southwest, but the fire at Lake Isabella has already taken lives and burned an area bigger than the city of San Francisco. Some of the photos at that link are as beautiful as they are horrifying. As I type, I’m listening to Con Fire battling a grass fire over by Hwy 4. While the pointy eared people and the floppy eared one are in no danger, the fires are worrisome.
Speaking of the furry ones…
Theo Jansen and his travelling exhibition is at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. I hope we can go see it before it goes away.
On Wednesday, I posted about the awful gas line explosion and fire that happened a few doors down from us on our block. I may have thought it was bad, but our pointy eared people thought it was a lot worse. When the gas ignited, there was a “whomp” that we could feel underfoot. The kitties immediately scattered, diving under furniture and hiding in closets. My fast pace to get outside and see if we needed to evacuate didn’t help any. After that, it was a cacophony of sirens, air horns and people yelling. They were scared, and I don’t blame them.
The poor kitties have been jumpy ever since. Today, they are finally relaxing. While they still startle a bit easier than they did, they are happy to relax and spend time with us again.
We have always appreciated our firefighters. This week showed just how much we rely on them.
We leave you with another photo of our firefighters in action. This was a grass fire that occurred on June 5, 2012.
Yesterday, with tongue firmly in cheek, I made a post and called it Terrible Tuesday is Terrible. I was wrong. I was so very wrong. What I had to complain about was merely a headache. The day took a dramatic and possibly tragic turn. I was merely a bystander, for the most part. Lastech was at work on an odd day shift and the poor guy was left waiting for my updates.
Yesterday I was fighting some serious browser problems. I took a break and walked North a block to the post office. Then I walked back home. I had to walk past a construction site. They have been remodeling an apartment building for quite a while. Today, they were working on some pipes out front.
I had just posted my Terrible Tuesday pics when I felt a firm “whomp!” under my feet, followed almost instantly by the sound of screaming and the smell of smoke. I looked out the window to see people running past the apartment. I immediately went out to check and found that the construction site was in flames and a gas main was broken. It was only a few doors away. I got a few important papers ready to go and the cat carrier was out in case I had to evacuate. It didn’t come to that and we’re all fine.
The construction site that I had walked past, had ignited gas from a broken main. It was awful. Sadly, the construction worker who caught the brunt of the explosion is in critical condition. JBoD is keeping the worker and his family in our thoughts. The dental office next door was able to evacuate everyone. I talked to them. They said it was terrifying because the gas and flames were only a few feet from the door.
This wasn’t a huge gas line, but it was big enough. Also, as you’ll see from the pics below, the buildings in our city are separated only by an inch or two. As a result, instead of fighting fires from the outside, our brave firemen and women fight the fires from inside the building. A miracle happened and there were only a couple of minor injuries to our firefighters, thank goodness.
In all, I saw at least 8 (there were more) engines and ladder trucks. There were multiple rescue squads and ambulance crews. There were LOTS of police officers. I’m grateful to all of them. The damage was contained to two, maybe three buildings. I’m sure I’ll know more later and I’ll update then.
You can see a news report here. I should add that while the smoke doesn’t look that bad, it really was bad. The wind was really howling down our street. It was good in that it dispersed the leaking gas quickly. I normally despise wind, but I’m grateful to it today.
Also, on Sept. 9, 2010 there was a massive gas line explosion on the San Bruno pipeline. That occured a few miles South of us. It also happened on a San Bruno Ave. in the town of San Bruno. Ours was on San Bruno Ave. in San Francisco. Are you confused yet? I can add to the confusion. The line that blew up in San Bruno wasn’t involved today. However, it passes by our apartment about 100 ft (33.48 meters) to our South. I’m very comforted by that. Yes, that was heavy sarcasm.
Anyhow, with luck, I’ll have something more uplifting soon. I’m still feeling a bit somber at the moment.