TW- HOUSE FIRES/ INJURIES

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My neighbor's house is burning down. The fire started about an hour & a half ago and is still actively being extinguished. My neighbor and her kids were not home, thank god, but Grampa was. It went up & spread SO FUCKING FAST even though the house is less than 10 years old, with presumably fire resistant building materials.

He is in bad shape. All of us neighbors are heartbroken.

A few related, yet random things:

Hug everyone you love, whenever you see them.

Make it a point to look out for your neighbors. One of ours called the Fire Dept as soon as he saw a bit of smoke. By the time he walked across the street, the lower left part of the house was in flames. This still may not have been enough.

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Check the batteries in your smoke alarms TODAY. Not tomorrow.

Check that your homeowners policy is current TODAY.

ETA: I saw a guy taking video with his phone. I told him, "Cut that shit out. Someone else's tragedy does not belong on Facebook." I said the same thing after Hurricane Sandy.

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If you're a person who believes in prayer, please float some to my neighbors.

I feel sick. 3 weeks ago, one of my dogs turned the burner on my stove on (gas flame) while I wasn't home and miraculously they did not burn the house down with themselves in it. I took the advice of a very wise GTer and have removed the knobs until I'm cooking.

My next door neighbor's back deck caught fire in the middle of a rainstorm 2 weeks ago. Her husband was blasting it with the garden hose before the fire department arrived, but the exterior damage to the house was bad. The exterior around her son's bedroom window was melted. Neighbor Husband was freaking out that my house was going to catch, too, because we are only 8 feet apart. Another neighbor called me to tell me to get the hell home.

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All of this is so scary. The lump in my throat is gonna burst now, so off I go to cry.

Thanks for listening