polychromatic22: (downblue)
[personal profile] polychromatic22
On my way home from work, for reasons I still can't fathom, instead of switching from I-20 west to 285 North, I got off at Wesley Chapel. I rolled through the gas station and got a drink, then got back onto the road, switching onto South Hairston as it is techincally possible to get home from there, just much more time consuming then zipping by on the freeways. Rolling through South Hairston I look across the street and notice some smoke. I look again. Hey, that's a lot of smoke. Look again. Holy shit, that's a lot of smoke. I turn around and get on the other side of the road. Holy crap is that a lot of smoke suddenly. I am on the phone to 911 as I turn the corner. Cars are zipping by. Noone is looking. I stop in the middle of the road with my hazards on, giving the 911 operator the house number, and trying to remember, and telling the operator that it's Wesley Chapel and not Covington that is the closest intersection.

I notice a for sale sign out front. Please, god, let the house be empty. Let them have moved out. The house is starting to get bright. I can almost see a fire deep inside of it. 12 seconds pass.. 20. They feel like ten minutes, twenty. Flames break through the windows. Noone is stopping. Noone cares. Flames are dancing on the side of the house while I am calmly telling the woman on the phone where I am and how to get here.

Another car finally stops. They see me on the phone. I ask if they live here, and they ask if anyone lives here. Confusing. They just stopped. Noone else had/has called 911. An ambulance pulls up. It's way too late for anyone inside. The place is rolling flames. Nothing is inside but fire. I pull my car out of the way of fire trucks I hope are here soon. I tell the 911 operator that this is a wooded area. The trucks must be here soon or else the entire neighborhood will catch. I get out of the car and ask the neighbors further up if they know if anyone lives here. Noone does. The family moved out a week or two ago. Fire trucks arrive. I run to the ambulance and tell them not to even think about killing themselves. The house is vacant, on the neighbors say so. Eventually I count 7 trucks. They are trying to keep it from spreading. This house is gone. Within 2 minutes, this house is gone. The roof is catching and the power lines are sparking off one by one. The road is a dense fog of smoke and soot. Flying flaming debris is everywhere. You can't drive through the road anymore, and now, now cars are stopping. Now there are people on the phone. The trees are on fire, and the people are just getting around to noticing something and doing something about it.

The neighbors say that the owner was just there about 15 minutes ago, cutting the lawn. He had only pulled out a few minutes ago. This all happened near instaneously.

The firemen manage to put the fire out on the side so the fire doesn't spread next door instantly (as it was about to), but the trees overhead have caught, and they are working on those. I'm crying and I'm not sure whether it's the smoke or the intensity or the situation. Standing on the street, at least 200 feet from the house, the heat is intense. The firecrew mostly are wearing masks. Not a lot of them seem to be near the fire, or even working on it. Just a couple guys. I wonder why there are seven trucks and maybe six men working. I realise that I have no clue what to do, so shouldn't armchair quarterback the fireguys. I'm sure as fuck positive there is shit going down that I don't know how to deal with it, and they're freaking trained. They're doing their job right. These fuckers were willing to walk into that dance of flames and death to rescue cinders of people, if there were any. Shut the fuck up, Janel. Stand down, back off.

I feel like I'm gawking. I wipe my tears off with my hands that smell like smoke and I get in my car and drive home.

Why did I come this way? I have never come this way home, and am not completely positive I know the way, as I have only once used it to go to work and not from. The surrounding houses would have caught fire if it had waited until the other cars stopped. Is this how it always works? Does someone always notice? Is someone always nudged in the right direction? If I had been wanting to stop for a soda, especially when I already have a soda on me, from work. I would have stopped one exit up at Panola because there's a QuikTrip there. Nothing conveniant here. I don't know why I pulled off where I did. I don't know why I was there when I was. I don't feel guided. I don't feel like there was a voice telling me to stop. To leave work late, to stop at the wrong damn exit for a drink, to then continue on the wrong damn way that I barely know. I just feel like... point A, point B, point C. One event leading into another which lead into me being right there and calling before it was too late. It almost was. It happened so quickly, and noone seemed to notice. The woman who had stopped a bit after me said that she thought it was a car on fire and was stopping to help, as she just saw a little smoke. Why did I see more? Why did I notice and get concerned. I really don't know.

I don't know.
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polychromatic22: (Default)
Janel

July 2012

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