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A fire in the neighborhood last night

Last night when we went to bed at about 1 AM we saw fire engine flashing lights nearby on Broadway, As time went on more engines showed up including several on our street (a few hundred feet from the fire) running extra hoses as well as seeing lots of smoke. There were several hours of activity including lots of muffled to us orders being given through bull horns. I was pretty jittery for a while wondering whether the fire was really being contained and thinking about the fact that we had no plan if suddenly this happened to us. Then I fell asleep.

This morning I went to check it out and it was a small house on Broadway. The fire department clearly contained the fire well since the buildings on both sides looked fine. I don't know yet what happened to the occupant, a 93 year old man who I know and seems to be in pretty good health. He still drives a car. I've chatted with him a few times. I knew his (late) wife better. He keeps his car in a garage that I rent out. He always drops his rent check in my mail slot on the 31st promptly. I hope he is OK (I don't care about the rent).

The first floor used to be an antique shop and there was a lot of what looked like junk leftover that you could see through the window and some seems to still be there. I couldn't get too close this morning because they were dealing with a possible gas leak in the street in front. I wonder if that was related to the cause of the fire, or the consequence.

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An update on the fire; the man got out uninjured; in fact it was he that walked across the street to the fire alarm box.

We went to take another look after lunch (I hadn't seen it, other than in jwg's picture, up until then), by which time demolition was well under way; all that was left standing was that outside staircase on the left, while a backhoe rampaged among the wreckage, and much charred lumber was piled on the adjoining sidewalk. Even as we watched, the staircase was brought crashing down. John has more pictures, which he will post in due course.

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