How Did It Happen: The Timeline

Hey, I would be curious, too. (And one of the ways I’m dealing with this is to go into reporter mode, so I understand that’s how we deal with trauma.)

7am: Wake up not feeling well, decide to work from home; plan to stay in bed in pajamas all day for second day in a row

2.20pm: Smells like neighbors fire up barbecue again

2.29pm: Roommate Jen wanders around the house with funny look on her face

2.33pm: Jen wanders into my room and softly says, “Um, I think our house in on fire”

2.34pm: Realize it smells like neighbors are barbecuing 2x4s and fiberglass insulation

2.34pm and one second: See the smoke curling in our back window

2.34pm and three seconds: Start frantically grabbing stuff: first pass, laptop, cell phone, two jewelry cases; run down the stairs, throw them on the first floor landing

2.35pm: Second grab: purse, wallet, journal, and, in a flash of inspiration, the closest laundry hamper; risk four extra seconds of smoke inhalation to grab a pair of jeans (if you, or anyone, ever feels the need to complain about just how hard it is to find clothes, and you’re anywhere between … oh, say, 4’9 1/2″ and 5’11 1/2″ or over 95 pounds, please, kindly, shut the fuck up in front of me)

2.35.34pm: Jen calls 911; next-door neighbor Ben has beaten her by 10 seconds

2.36.04pm: Noe Valley fire station away on a call. Station 7 from Folsom and 19th nearby. Arrives exactly fifty seconds after the Ben’s initial 911 call

3.22pm: Fire fully contained

5.57pm: Firefighters leave the scene

We’re still waiting for all sorts of lab tests and inspections and the like, but it sounds like it was a faulty PG&E conduit/wire/circuit (whatever word I’m supposed to use there) in our next-door neighbor’s garage that started the blaze. I can’t tell you how horrifying a feeling it is to know that your electrical circuits could catch on fire anytime for any reason and there’s probably nothing you can do. So, I’ll be the one wearing an orange robe (since I don’t ever want to own anything, ever again0 in a solar-powered yurt for the rest of my life. Come visit. We’ll barbecue.

2 thoughts on “How Did It Happen: The Timeline

  1. rumhat says:

    Dear Alex- have you ever considered being taller and/or heavier? It may make it easier to locate substitute clothing in situations such as this. This being America, surely there must be stores for women who are 4’3″ and 600 lbs.


    1. pookypants says:

      You would think so, wouldn’t you? Seriously, I will react violently if anyone whose height and weight are *anywhere* on the charts ever tells me how hard they have it when buying clothes ever again. It took me ten years to realize I would never be able to find a coat that fit, so I ended up having one made for the price of a cheap car. Shoes are almost as difficult (I’m a 4 1/2AAAA). Even normal socks don’t fit (I go to the kids’ section to see if I can find ones without pink Barbies). And, yes, Matthew, bras, too. 🙂


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