11/28/2007

Fire in the Wheel Well!! err, On the beach anyway!

Well now, two blogs down from here, I was lamenting about how a lot of our ponds were being overcome with nasty assed bushes. And that this presents a hazard to ALL homeowners out here as there are only a dozen or so fire hydrants on the Island and they are mostly all located in the downtown area.

So last night about nine o'clock all the pagers carried by all firemen and rescue workers blared into action to announce that there was a house on fire over on Coast Guard road. So we rolled every piece of equipment we owned and the first truck was on scene within four minutes of the pagers going off. By the time they got there the place was fully involved as the saying goes. There were flames pouring out of every window in the place. The house is situated on a small semi peninsula and has the Atlantic on one side about 50 yards away, and the New Harbor, (known in recent arrivee's vernacular as, "THE GREAT SALT POND") on the other side about the same distance to the water.

Now even with the the Atlantic to try and empty, which we did try to do for three solid hours of pumping, 'twas all to no avail. The fire just had too much of a head start. So the best we could do was to contain the grass fires that threatened to spread to other houses out there, and watch the place be reduced to a pile of ashes worth exactly nothing. Previous to the fire, it was a brand new two story house worth about three and a half million bucks or so I'm told!! It was within a few days work of being ready to move into. All gone in three or four hours!

It was not owned by any of my family or even close friends, but for some reason, a "frisson" ran through me and it was as if I could feel the incomprehensible loss of all those folks in La La Land at the loss of their homes in the recent fires out there. Having one so close to home happen, it brings home the reality that it CAN happen to you with startling speed! It gives you a whole new perspective on how devastated those folks must have felt at the loss of every damned thing they owned!

It was a beautiful house ,outside as well as inside. My sympathies go out to the Raymond family. They were a long time gas customer of mine and are a very nice family!

8 comments:

Sam said...

Man, that's horrible and I feel for the family. I take it the house was sheetrocked instead of being all wood like many cottages?

My house here is 100% toast, best of the 1970's with paneling, so you got me worried now.

Sounds like the boys and gals did as best as they could ...

The Warbler said...

Ah, Ev, that's a good crew out there. I'm sorry...

Old NFO said...

Sorry to hear that Ev, but that is the reality of limited hydrants and too long a run to water. With some of the eco-nazis out and about I would also wonder if it was set...

Sam said...

Well Ole HFO you did good on the first part but ya lost me on the second. You know the drill, arson investigation is a science and not something to attack people about their environmental preferences.

I'm 51, vote moderate, am conservative on rights and economy, and have been a bleeding environmentalist ever since I was hatched. I don't go for that activism stuff and really hate how the hippies turned Climate Change into a freak show at the circus. But in a way, you just sent a left-handed message that I might have set fire to a house and committed felony arson. Not good, bruddah.

Using words like "eco-Nazi" is very strong language. Gimme a break. It was an unfortunate incident and the fire marshals are working on it.

Old NFO said...

Sorry Sam, but this follows a pattern the Earth First types use in California, wait until the house is near or completely done, then torch it. And yes it IS felony arson. While you may be conservative, there are a lot who are not.

Sam said...

Man, that would be horrible. I heard some houses on Long Island went that way too. Any word as to the origination?

good listener said...

Not to strike fear in our alleged 'secure' cocoon but there could be a pattern developing here - the Lee house on Cooneymus was substantially complete when it was destroyed and now the Raymond house - and I hesitate to mention the puzzle connection between James Lee and Lee Raymond - will the next one belong to Raymond___? The fire marshals were unable to draw any conclusions as the destruction was so complete. Both houses had easy access from the beach, so slipping in and out unnoticed would not be a problem. Just some fodder for discussion...

Sam said...

Sounds a little conjectural Good Listener but you live there and I don't. Might be a waterfront feud of sorts, or an insurance thing. I was having one of those "Columbo" moments, though. If hydrocarbons such as gasoline was used, wouldn't it be detected by the dogs and sniffer equipment? Hydrocarbon always leaves a chemical residue no matter how toasty the fire gets. Same for flares, black powder, and other nitrates.