It pays to be the crazy lady who stays up waay past her bedtime to read.
Around 2 am, I was getting ready for bed and saw orange flames coming from the alley across the way. I thought I was maybe seeing flames from a deck party so I ran to the windows in the living room.
Shit! The trash behind one of the buildings was burning and the fire was slowly climbing higher. The houses are so close here, it would be no problem for it to spread.
I grabbed my phone, gabbled my information to 911 and pulled on jeans and a shirt over my nightie. I ran down the hall, the stairs, my flip flops really loud on the concrete. The sirens could be heard just about a street away. When the first engine arrived, I stood in the middle of the street pointing in the direction of the fire down the alley.
Standing in the alley behind my building I watched as the flames grew brighter, taller and reached the electrical and phone lines. Then I began counting how far in the fire was - about 5 houses, in the middle of the block.
My friend, G-, lived in the middle of the block! Running down the street, around the corner, to the front of the building on fire. I pounded on G-'s door, yelling her name. I called her cell phone - it said it was out of service. The condos behind and beside the building on fire began to evacuate. People carried their kids and their pets.
I called T-, another neighborhood friend, to see if she could track G- down then remembered that she mentioned going to DC to visit her brother. Her cat - ? No clue. T- left her a message to check in, if she was ok in DC. The fire was soon out in about 10 minutes.
The three engines are leaving now. The street next to the loft is a lake, practically.
SO glad I didn't fall asleep on the couch watching Law & Order reruns.