My heart dropped today when I was asked at work if I had heard about the fire in Abasand late last night that destroyed 4 homes along with 3 garages and 3 vehicles. It brought me back to my early teen years when the old wooden house next door burnt to the ground resulting in one man breaking a few bones and a second man who sadly lost his life. I remember sitting silently at the kitchen table with my coat along with my two younger sisters ready to leave immediately should the need arise. While that event took place almost 30 years ago, it's still an event that crops up in family conversation from time to time. A million thoughts went through my head at the time. It was all so surreal. While our century-old house was brick, the fire took place before my parents renovated the attic which at the time was full of old wood and insulation. Now that I own my own home, I realize just how fortunate we were that night.
It saddens me that last night in our city a few families and individuals were not so fortunate. While firefighters arrived quickly, last night's strong winds no doubt played a big role in how the fire was able to spread no doubt causing more damage than otherwise may have been caused. Coming as this does following the price of oil tanking and all the economic anxiety that brings, this is a huge kick in the pants. It's a miracle that no one was seriously injured or killed. The few photos I've seen so far look like the homes were hit with a bomb. I don't mean to sound melodramatic but really, that's the only thing I can really compare it to.
I was heartened to hear that a Go Fund Me site has been set up to raise money for those affected by last nights events. Despite what some may read in certain media, we are a community here and this city has always struck me with its generous spirit when it comes to supporting those in need.