There was much excitement here at DIY Insanity. No, not putting in the plastic, filter cloth and gravel into the drainage near the path I'd worked on before (the only thing less exciting than a trench is a filled-in trench). No, not installing conduit and wire in the basement.
Instead, we had excitement for the whole neighborhood. While watching the Giants vs. the Eagles on Sunday Night Football (gotta love John Madden), we heard heavy trucks go rumbling by and saw some flashing lights. A short time later we heard some more; I figured it had been a false alarm and they were going back to the station up the hill. K could still hear rumbling, though, so she went to investigate. She quickly returned and reported there were multiple fire engines up a few houses. We went out to investigate, and found out that it was a house fire in the next block.
We couldn't walk up our street, so we walked around the other way, and saw a whole bunch of fire equipment. K counted 9 or 10 fire engines, 2 ladder trucks (the big ones with the 2nd steering wheel in back), 2 police cars, and an ambulance. And a PG&E truck for good measure. I saw a friend from Oakland Firefighters Random Acts who's in the department said it had gone to a second alarm in part because the residents were pack rats and the house was literally full of stuff. When it went to a second alarm, and in anticipation of a long night, they were dispatched with the department's O2 truck to refill air tanks as needed. So there were crews from at least 3 stations there. Fortunately no one was injured; the owners weren't at home when the fire broke out.
When I walked by this morning, the lower floor looked completely scorched, and the windows were knocked out (common when fighting fires to clear the debris and the smoke out.) The upper entrance floor (common here in the hills) looked OK, but based on how much smoke had come out the lower floor, I imagine there was a fair amount of smoke damage up there, too. Oy. I'm just glad no one was injured.