House Fire at 1110 Finlayson

Tonight we were finishing up gardening in the front yard (re-purposing some tires into raised beds, but I digress). Kiddo noticed some plumes of black smoke coming from a couple blocks over. I grabbed a camcorder and headed out. Pandemonium-- people on the street and police/fire trucks closing in. Eventually the old media people showed up and started rolling their cameras. It's kind of sad that this fire caught up (almost all house fires are sad, but this one had all of these funky add-ons and metal work, so it was a unique part of the neighbourhood). I was a little sheepish about shooting this video as I was standing beside the mortified and now homeless people from the fire.

I was reminded of a fire that hit my extended family several years back. That was an overall messy affair. The fire originated in the room of a careless smoker who said that it couldn't be her. After the fire, the landlady came in later and planted evidence-- it was rich: there whole room was a black charcoal and the photo they took showed a pristine package of cigarettes, but it wasn't the brand used by the smoker in question. The woman who reported the fire was standing outside when it started, then she promptly booked herself into the mental institution. That matter eventually got to the Residential Tenancy Branch. The landlady (aka evidence planter), assured my family to just come as it was a formality-- she said nothing else needed to be done. Why? They are going to land a $14,000 suit on my family courtesy of the RTB arbitration process; but by couching it as casual or routine, it meant my family wouldn't involve their household insurance who would defend my family and pay for the damages. Then, they'd be saddled with a $14,000 debt and have to accept eviction. I was happy to learn later that the landlady's husband sucked every last dime out of their bank account, took off and sent her into a nervous breakdown. But I digres...

Metal folk sculpture
Originally uploaded by ngawangchodron
No word as to the extent of the damages, but given the intensity of the flames and the smoke seeping from the front of the house (the opposite side from the flames), means that the damage will be extensive. Kiddo is freaked out by all of this. At the same time she spotted the fire, thunderclaps rolled in and freaked her out further. It was a mini-version of the Apocalypse-- but at least we planted potatoes and pumpkins.


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