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Sunday · June 15 2003

lombard_fire_2.jpgThe firetrucks screamed past us on Finley Road while we were out on a bike ride with my dad today. As we turned the corner near 22nd street, we could see the smoke rising. The sirens kept howling and curious cars and bikers (us included) were streaming into the strip mall/condo complex parking lot to gape. I've never been an eyewitness to a fire of this size. The fireball on the rear side of the townhome was immense. We stood still on our bikes for at least 20 minutes watching the firemen work on managing a fire that showed no signs of retreat. We rode away before the fire was under control, but Stace and I stopped at the site on our way back to the city later at night. The external damage was limited to the perimeter of the original blaze, but I'm sure many of the neighboring townhomes will have smoke and water damage to clean up.

lombard_fire_1.jpgA fellow gaper told us that everyone was safely evacuated, and that the fire was started by someone who fell asleep smoking. My dad bristled at the report. "How the hell would they know already? The fire isn't under control! That's a non-smoker who told you that." My dad can turn any situation into a defense of smoker's rights and leave you feeling like you're missing out on the pleasure that tobacco brings. I walked outside after dinner tonight and my dad had a satisifed smile and a cigar scrunched in the side of his mouth. "Smoke break?" I asked. "Dessert." he said.

© 2003 Jason Keglovitz