So there I was...
Thursday afternoon like most any other. I was on the futon, esconced in yet another round of laundry folding and waiting on some cooking rice. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw one of the neighbor kids go by on his bicycle. Anthony is 15 and a good friend of Chaco's. I remember thinking that the doorbell would most likely ring soon. Boy, did it ever
*DONG* DING*DONG*....(okay, you get it by now I think)
Now, it's not typical for this particular kid to go all crazy on the doorbell like that. He's pretty even keeled. In the meantime, Chaco had approached the door and opened it all pissed like, "WHAT!?!"
"CALL 9-1-1! YOU'RE DUMBASS NEIGHBOR'S LIT HIS HOUSE ON FIRE!!!"
So time sort of stood still at that point.
In probably what was a split second, I recall Chaco following Anthony outside and in my own head I began to ponder, "Hmmm, knowing that the neighbor kid can be quite the dumbass at times, and knowing that Anthony doesn't freak out on a regular basis, this is highly likely to be true".
After weighing the options and considering the evidence I'd been given thus far, I grabbed the phone and just dialed without confirming Anthony's statement. As I did so, I headed outside.
Yep, sure enough. A large portion of the garage and an innocent bush were fully engulfed in large flames that reached higher than the house. The neighbor kid, the one to whom Anthony was referring, is 11 years old and had apparently hightailed it down the street.
I spoke to the calm 9-1-1 dispatcher explaining that the neighbors house was on fire. No, I did not know if anyone was in the house. YES, I definitely could see flames and YES, I could definitely see smoke.
As I was speaking with her, I noticed neighbor boy writhing on the lawn of Neighbor Flanders, speaking gibberish, "I'M SO STUPID.... OH GAWD.... I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW STUPID.... ACK!... etc." I approached him and tried to calm him and asked him if anyone was in the house, which I fully expected the answer to be "no".
"YES, MY MOM AND MY SISTER AND MY BROTHER ARE INSIDE... OH GAWD!!"
I told this to the 9-1-1 dispatcher and in the meantime, I told my kids and Anthony. Chaco and Anthony went into their backyard to let them know that their house was on fire. The neighbor mom probably got mad about the damn neighbor kids. Kind of like the initial thought I had when Anthony decided to lay on our doorbell. Anyway, Mom, sister, and brother all then came outside.
One fire chief, one fire investigator, and three firetrucks later, all ended well as could be expected. Another thursday afternoon. I still don't know just how the thing started. That's for Neighbor Kid to tell me sometime.
Anthony, Chaco, and Wolfgang were asked to give written accounts of what they witnessed to the fire inspector. Anthony's began something like, "I was on my way to my friends house to buy some sweet bike tires because mine suck..."
I'm pretty glad he had sucky bike tires.