So the other night I am enjoying a stack of comic books I borrowed from a neighbor, and everyone else is also just lounging around in the house. Eventually I notice red and blue flashing lights right outside our front door. I go to the window and look, only to find a cop car blocking the road right in front. Odd, but nothing else seemed to be happening, so I went back to my reading. Every other minute or so I would go and check up on the disco outside, only to find increasing amount of police and fire trucks driving up and stopping just down the street... in front of my neighbors to be exact. Being me, I think there's a fire down the street and I'll go out and look in a while, nothing terribly important at the moment. No more do I sit down then I see several figures dashing in our front lawn, followed by an urgent knocking and several rapid doorbell rings. Going up I see a Fireman's party being held in our lawn and a policewoman standing on our porch.
PW: Is this a one or two family house?
Me: Uh, one?
PW (at this point figuring out that we inside are oblivious): Your neighbor's barn is on fire, and you need to evacuate immediately.
Needless to say, that's all that needed to be said. In about two minutes we managed to grab everyone still home, a few essential paperwork folders and jump drives, and the cats, and get them all into my car (my mother and sister were at work). What was ironic was that between the emergency vehicles and the crowd in our driveway we couldn't back out. Thankfully at that point though the same policewoman came to tell us the blaze was under control, and our home was no longer in danger.
To help get a picture of the situation, or neighbor had (or should I say had) an old two-story carriage-house that had long been converted into part garage/part storage/part workshop because he is a boat captain. Its behind the row of houses, but its only about fifty feet away from our house, which explained the need to evacuate. We got lucky, because the side facing away from us was the side that caught fire, so it gave more time for the firemen to come and put it out with little danger to the neighborhood. Had the side closest to us caught on fire instead... *shudder*. We have several large Black Walnut trees right next to the carriage house, and they lead nicely to our home, plus the closeness of the building...
So yeah, we and the neighbors got lucky, very lucky. Neither home was destroyed or even damaged, thee building is still largely intact, and he didn't lose his boat OR his camper-trailer. He probably lost many expensive tools and riggings though.
Afterwards the neighbors (everyone else in the neighborhood, not the victims) were commenting on how in its height it was a wall of orange flame, an many thought at first it was our house. Once they realized it was the barn, they actually were more concerned because he has many air tanks, fuel, and compressors in there that could've blown... yeah. Would've been pretty to say the least. We were told though that the family managed to get those out before the blaze became too intense.
So yeah... just your average day in a small town...