I was still living with my Mom when we came home to find that our house was on fire.
I frantically called 911, but the operator was aloof to the point where I started screaming at her when she just mumbled monotonously through my questions.
“How long is it going to take them to get here?! My house is on fucking fire!!!”
While we waited out in the driveway, I briefly considered running in to try to save some things, but ultimately I realized that it was a bad idea and a few minutes later, the fire trucks rolled up and began to get to work.
The next evening once everything had been cleared, I looked around and found that the damages hadn’t actually been that bad. Despite burning for what seemed like forever, the fire was almost completely contained to the roof and although there were numerous areas where you could see right through to the starry, night sky, most of our belongings were still ok.
Plus, I lived in the basement, so my stuff went relatively untouched.
Nonetheless later on I found myself scrambling to pack up my things as some people from my old Boy Scout troop helped carry boxes up the stairs – some of them just went out to my car, while the bulkier things were packed into a big moving truck.
The last thing I remember packing were several bankers boxes full of Nintendo Power magazines, followed by a bevy of old industrial batteries destined to be recycled. Not really sure where I was moving to, although when I tried to look up the story about the fire online, my browser kept diverting to news about Tampa instead.