We are not on fire any more.  Here, from the Tribune, is a picture of the fire:


See the building on the far left, past the tree, that looks like it’s a few feet from the burning building? That’s our building. I’m thankful that it didn’t go up as well, but it is damaged. The roof partially melted and has to be replaced. The basement got three feet of water, which means the boiler and hot water heater were damaged (and the stuff I had in the basement is probably ruined). The firefighters bust in all the doors. There’s no power or gas.

On the plus side, things are happening already. They sealed all the doors, removed the carpets, and drained the basement. I heard that the city is going to demolish the ruined building. It’s fenced off, but it’s what lawyers call an attractive nuisance: a dangerous thing that curious not-very-smart people would love to explore. And it’s right next door to a school. Plus it still has three-story brick walls that could collapse, which is another reason our building isn’t yet habitable, so the sooner it goes the better.

(Edit:) Along the street near our building there are little piles of ash and charcoal. There’s also little spots of ash on my jacket that didn’t come off int he wash…

Lots of little things going on: talking to our landlord and to our insurance company, making some trips to pick up essentials, cleaning out the fridge so life does not evolve there while we’re away. I managed to track down and receive an important package: the proof copy of my book. Trying to get used to sleeping hours more like those of normal people.

We’re staying with some very sweet friends of ours. Hopefully we’ll be pleasant enough guests that we can stay till we can move back to our place. We’re still a little stressed out, but basically OK.