Tragedy Next Door

fire, house fire, photographyThe other night Mary and I were awakened to what sounded like gunfire, and a lot of it. I jumped out of bed and flung open the front door.  This was the sight that hit us in the face.  Our neighbor’s house was fully involved on fire.

House-Fire-4Mary called 911, while I headed over to render assistance.  Our neighbors had gotten out safely, but saved very little of their belongings.  They have no insurance.

House-Fire-3The fire department arrived quickly, but it was still too late to save the house.

House-Fire-5Fortunately, they have family nearby. House-Fire-6It was a surreal experience and so tragic for our neighbors.

House-Fire-1It started when embers from a burn pile blew into the house.  They started the burn pile earlier that day, then the wind came up.

102 thoughts on “Tragedy Next Door

    • We are too Ralph. Everything burns well here in Northern California. We had a rain the day before and they must have thought it was safe to burn, but then the winds came up and were very strong. I countered the effect of the rain.


  1. So sad and so tragic. Unfortunately it will happen many more times this year and the next. And some will not be lucky to escape the flames. We are so very fragile and at the mercy of nature and the unexpected.
    Your pictures as always capture beautiful colors and designs, but I am sure it was painful to post them.


    • I considered not posting them, but I thought it might be a good reminder of the danger. This is the time of year when folks here start burning yard debris and have fires in their wood stoves. There were three house fires last week around here, which is a lot.


  2. A sobering thought, we burn wood for heat, I’ll be moving my ash pile further from the shed after reading this post. Best wishes to your neighbors, thankfully they escaped. Russell.


  3. So glad everyone got out ok. Such a tragedy. This economy has everyone cutting corners to survive. My husband hasn’t had health insurance for years (but he’s healthy) but soon we’ll have an additional $400. a month to pay… Not sure where this $ will come from…
    I send good karma to your neighbors.


    • There was so much old dry wood in and around this house and the winds were whipping. It absolutely went ups so fast that they were lucky to get out. I’m sorry to hear about your house. I hate to imagine all the precious memories lost.


  4. What a sad situation for those folks, life-changing in a matter of minutes. Feel badly for them – it’s a devastating time. Your photographs tell the story in a very direct way.


  5. Oh my, that is so sad. I really feel for your neighbors… Gosh, and from embers… that’s heartbreaking. I’ll make sure to send a prayer up for them today. Take care out there.


  6. What a horrifying experience for them! That fire seems to eat the house with rage, hungry for whatever comes in its way. Good to hear they managed to escape and have family support around. For what it’s worth (and when you see them again), do let them know that people far away wish them strength to build up again.


    • Oh Alison, that is incredibly kind of you. We would not he appropriate people to send money to, but I’ll have to see if a fund has been set up. The family is part of the local Indian tribe. They may have set something up. Right now I don’t have a way to get ahold of them. The local tribe has a very successful casino and have been very supportive of our neighbors in the past.

      By the way I love your blog and your watercolors. They are just beautiful.


      • I understand that and am glad to hear that they have a strong network – good news! I just hate to hear of people in trouble like that. Home is our only sacred place. Thanks for your thoughts about my art…:)


  7. You know, it is too bad that WordPress doesn’t have some other button besides “Like.” It seems obscene to “like” this. It is a tragedy, your poor neighbors losing their home. Sad. Oh wow, they didn’t make sure the burn pile was fully extinguished? I feel bad for them.


    • Yes it was very unfortunate. They are back and have a trailer on site as the work on things. I know what you mean about liking a post about a tragic or difficult subject. Even though everyone knows the like isn’t for the event, it is still hard to press the button. I’ve had many more comments than likes on that post.


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