Friday, August 15, 2008

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire

As I walked out of my apartment this morning to head for work, I saw an Access van across the street. A little flash caught my eye, and lo and behold! Tiny flames were licking up the windshield.

I gave myself another second to make sure my brain wasn't deceiving me, and I confirmed, to myself, that the VAN WAS ON FIRE! I looked around to see if anyone was in or near the van, and it seemed abandoned. People were passing by on the street, looking at the fire as it began to build, and walked on by, either to the subway or down the street as the hood burst into flame. I couldn't believe it.


I whipped out my phone and dialed 9-1-1. I was petrified that the thing was going to blow up, and as the conflagration grew, the windows popped and shattered. Then the horn went off--the death cries of an immolating vehicle.

I ran back inside. I was asking myself whether it was smarter to be inside or outside, but I decided I'd rather be indoors if the thing blew up, presumably allowing my building to take the major blow. I didn't want to leave until I was sure the fire department arrived. From the photos I took, a friend later pointed out it looked a lot like Grand Theft Auto.

They came in about 2 minutes, but the fire continued to blaze--it was so hot I could feel the heat through my living room window. Once the fireman hosed it down, I went back outside to tell them thank you. They asked me if I knew where the driver was. I didn't, but the guy next to me said he saw the driver cross the street. Good lord.

Just another day in Brooklyn. And unfortunately, the third major conflagration I've witnessed in the past 5 years on this corner. Shudder.

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