The House Fire

Not my house, I assure you.

Just going to bed a little after midnight – lying there in the dark and started to get this odd smokey smell. Got up and prowled the house looking for trouble, but there was none. Then opened the front door and in it came.

A house four blocks away was afire. We saw a column of black smoke against the vague glow of the night sky, then heard multiple explosions and pops and the passing of sirens – we could identify fire and police tones.

The chemical smoke smell intensified – you could tell the difference between this and a bushfire by the odour. This one had plastics and rubbers in it. A group of about 5 teenagers and children came down the street passageway looking for the source of the excitement, jabbering. They decided to run toward the glow, which was intensifying. One told the others to be careful or they’d get a ride in the ” big paddy wagon “.

I was instantly suspicious about this, but they were gone toward the fire before I could take more notice – I scouted round our property to see that there were no more hiding. The glow intensified to flames, then was gradually subdued as more sirens arrived.

I went back to bed, but to troubled sleep. Who were the teenagers and why were they out at midnight on Friday night? Of course I know the answer to this – they have no-one at their house to keep them there and they are on the prowl for whatever excitement/crime/gain they can find. I am glad they found me and my family awake and alert, for their future reference. No-one else in the street seemed to be.

Next morning I investigated – a large house lies gutted in Goddard Way. There were police teams around it – the arson squad as well as the regulars. I did not stop to gawk but I went back to Google Earth to see what it looked like from the air a year ago. A large, one-storey house with solar panels, sheds, and trees about it. I could draw no conclusions, and don’t feel like going further into public records for details. I daresay the cops will do so.

Our property is not all that susceptible to arson, but I’ll beat the boundaries after dark this summer just the same.

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