At around 3:30am I woke up this morning and initially thought my allergies were acting up. I got up and went in search of my life-blood aka Zyrtec in the kitchen. I stumbled around until I remembered I had packed it in my bag which was in the craft room. As I stood there fumbling, I heard what sounded like construction noises. I knew it was 3:30am, so I couldn’t fathom what the heck a construction crew would be doing out there! I went over to the window and quickly saw it was not construction, but rather a GIANT fire! When I first saw the flames they engulfed the entire back of an abandoned house and the smoke wash billowing out. Dozens of firefighters were in the house next door, sitting on its roof and in the back yard with hoses and shouting back and forth. They quickly got the back of the house doused and turned their attention on the blaze that was inside that house. It was equal parts terrifying and hypnotizing. I have never been so close to a fire like that. I was also in shock that it was happening. I was just thankful that I knew that house was abandoned so the odds of their being fatalities was lower than some of the heavily occupied homes here in Logan Square in Chicago. I stayed up watching it for about half an hour and witness the east wall of the house cave in on itself. After taking photos (it is the 21st century after all), I decided I couldn’t watch it because they would be there all night and I had to go to work in the morning.
When I woke up a few hours later at 6am it was still dark, and as the sun rose I saw the huge amount of damage the blaze had done. Including that the fire had actually burned the house next to it extensively. I remembered the firefighters sitting on top of its roof and quickly thought OH MY GOD THEY ARE CRAZY HEROES! I took Leopold out and decided to gawk. They still had the street blocked off and two fire engines were still spraying and sifting through the rubble/charred carcass of the abandoned house. The house next to it, which was occupied by 3 adults and 7 children was evacuated quickly so no injuries were reported, however all the doors and windows were busted out.
So much damage – and apparently it was all the work of an 18 year old Arsonist. I don’t know how they always find arsonists, but it seems to be the one crime everyone gets caught committing. I’m SO glad no one was injured, even though 10 people are now displaced as well as lost countless personal items and their home is severely damaged.
Here’s the Chicago Tribune link to the story: Logan Square Fire
And here are my photos from my apartment window. I definitely have a higher appreciation for firefighters and for fire safety.