The Neighborhood “WATCH”
Last night was just another dream in paradise. My husband and I were doing what most people do at 4:30 a.m….. Sleeping. We like it a little cool when we sleep, so we had the window cracked a little bit to get a good breeze of “fresh” air blowing in.
We woke up in the wee early hours to a crackling sound. At first, Trent thought it was the sound of rain hitting the grill, but with no rain in the forecast, he sat up to take a look out the window.
Last night, when we looked down into the patio area from our bedroom, we saw flames jumping 3-5 feet above our white fence. This was the very last thing we were expecting to see! Our adrenalin was racing and we both sprang out of bed.
Trent ran downstairs and grabbed the garden hose out back while I grabbed the house phone and dialed 9-1-1 to reach the local fire department. As I’m on the phone with the fire department, I look outside my window and see neighbors from other condos staring at the fire. I was shocked. How long have they been watching? Why did they not call the fire department? Well, that gives new meaning to neighborhood “watch.”
The garden hose was very short and Trent did all he could to pull it hard enough to force the water to go over the fence. If it was just a couple inches shorter, he would not have been able to extinguish any flames, and we do not want to think about what may have happened. You can see the picture above of our air conditioner next to our white fence. The fire started between our fence and the neighbor’s air conditioner on the other side. The first thing Trent noticed when he was fighting the flames and inhaling the smoke, was the neighbor’s propane tank on the other side of their AC unit, which automatically became a huge concern.
After getting off the phone with the fire department, I ran next door to get the neighbors up, afterall, the fire was in their back yard! I rang the doorbell until they finally came to the door. They still had no idea why I was at knocking at their door so early in the morning. The upstairs bedroom in the unit next door does not face the back porch area like ours does, and there are no windows that look into their proch area from upstairs. I screamed that there was a fire in their patio. They ran to the back of their condo to find the flames in their back yard and Trent spraying the hose. One minute later, the Anaheim Fire Department arrived.
It turns out the fire started from a cigar that our neighbor had thrown in their own back yard earlier in the evening.
Trent and I were extremely lucky that we were home and that we actually woke up to the “crackling” sound of the flames. There are so many “What If’s” that could have happened. The fire could have easily spread to the propane tank, the roof, the dryer vent, our bedroom wall. I am so thankful that we were home! This condo building has four units and Trent may have saved the homes for four families last night! My husband was a Real American Hero!