New Year’s Fire

I was feeling very weighed down with things to do on New Year’s. I spoke to a neighbor who came by and learned there had been a fire that morning at a home on the next block. Although I felt busy I went to check on the home, and found one of the tiny apartments in the single apartment unit on that street was completely destroyed. It was boarded up, with a pile of burned possessions on the patio. I spoke to the man who was going through the items and found he had just come home from several days work shift and found it that way. His hands were black with soot. The sky was threatening rain. I asked if I could help and offered cleaning supplies. I brought a bucket, plastic bags, warm and cold water, cookies and gloves. I called Red Cross and asked them to send someone. I checked on him again when it was dark and asked my housemate to pick up some dinner for him. We brought him hot coffee and food as he waited for his wife to show up. She was waiting to get a replacement to cover her shift at work, and he said he needed to go back to work the next day. I left them my phone number. It was a small amount of help but I didn’t want him to feel he was facing this alone. It meant less of my work at home got done but I felt more grateful for my home and dry clothes and that my boss would let me take time off if this happened to me.

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