Monday, June 19, 2006


On Saturday night, two men broke into our neightbour's house and set it on fire.

That's actually not surpring at all. Our neightbour is one of those shady characters with unsavoury dealings. This is probably something to do with gambling debts. Things like this are bound to happen.

Unfortunately for me, we live in a semi-detached unit and the house that burnt down is attached to ours.

I had just arrived at home around midnight when I saw a column of smoke coming out of the neighbour's house. The Fire Dept came after 20 minutes. By that time, the fire was spreading and the roof was burning. Our roof was on fire too. We managed to move all our things out.

In my head amidst all the commotion of evacuating all our valuables and papers, I quietly thought that if the fire dept didn't get here within half an hour AND if the fire managed to get into the neighbour's kitchen (where the gas tank is), the houses are gone.

Luckily, in 20 minutes there they were with hoses and spotlight and everything.

And luckily, we had other neighbours and they came in droves to help out carry things and point out sources of fire to the fire fighters. They needed that help. There were only four of them.

By 3.00am, it was all over. The place was a mess but everyone was ok. Except now we don't have any power until Sesco comes and reattaches our power. Obviously, the fire department had to cut it because of all the water.

We moved almost everything back in, but some things needed to be left outside.

The middle part of the house is not very habitable at this time.

It wasn't the most pleasant experience. But in the spirit of finding the silver lining, this disruption in our routines will hopefully have a positive effect in the long run. Hopefully.

I for one, will probably not take electricity and fire safety for granted for awhile.

Also, molotov cocktails are very effective if mixed properly. I also found out that the houses in my area are not up to the fire code standard, structurally speaking.

It's possible that we have need to have the house practically rebuilt, especially the roofing and the ceiling in one part of the house.

Which is more than I can say for the neighbour's house. It's just a burnt out shell now.

We'll have to see how it goes.

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