Sometime last night, semi-awake, I thought the tennis players in the sports club next door were being a bit raucous. Then I heard explosions and thought ‘fireworks’. Sue was up and looking out the window. She said the warehouse, next door to the sports club across the lane, was on fire. Flames were leaping into the 2am sky mixed with bright white sparkles as things exploded. We went up to the rooftop of our 6 story building to take a look.
The fire department seemed to have hoses on all sides of the warehouse and were also spraying water from about the 10th floor of a highrise next door. We could see streams aimed at both the warehouse and neighbouring buildings. With such small lanes the possibility of the fire spreading seemed high. Luckily most of the buildings here are brick and concrete and fire department kept the fire contained.
Sue, myself and our Japanese neighbour stood on the rooftop terrace for over an hour watching. The end of the warehouse, on our right, seemed to be a hotspot. Gradually the flames subsided as more and more hoses were brought into play. Beneath us, right across the lane, fireman hooked up hoses to a pump and used water from one of the pools. At about 3:30 the wind increased, blowing smoke across our way driving us off the roof and back to bed. Neither of us slept well with the roar of the pumps and thinking of the inferno we’d seen.
This morning the smoke still wafts up, firemen are amongst the ruins and workers are salvaging (amazingly) undamaged goods.
Later we may attempt to go down the lane and see if the small store, across from the warehouse, where we buy our jugs of water is OK. In the meantime we ponder the safety of our own building with it’s locked gates at the bottom and metal bars on all the windows. As our neighbour said: “There’s no escape.” A very sobering thought.