It’s 3.30am and I just got inside. The carbage can shelter located in the corner of our parking lot burned down completely. No human losses, but one car was completely destroyed and several suffered heat damages. Including mine.
I was sleeping with my window open, and through the sleep heard noise I thought was rain and smelled smoke. Thought there were people smoking near by – but then started to wonder why they took so long to finish and finally woke up completely. I thought the rain sounded weird and there was also the smell of smoke, not very strong but still – I pulled something on and went out to my small back yard to check. It wasn’t raining so I went towards the parking lot, thinking maybe some kids or drunks were playing with fire there, until I could see around the corner of the building and there was the shelter, completely on fire. Nobody was in sight and I had no idea if it had been called in. So I ran right back in get my cell phone (it was recharging) and called 112 (our 911). Somebody had already called it in and the fire brigade and the police were on their way.
I got some more clothes on (I had only put on a short sleeved shirt and trousers, with bare feet in sandals) and went back out, this time from my front door. Now there were other people gathering there too, watching. My car was only two empty car slots away from the burning building and there was nothing between it and the fire. But it wasn’t on fire. I saw that the car closest to the shelter, only centimeters away from one of the shelter walls, was completely on fire.
I wondered about driving my car away from its slot, along with some other people whose cars were in the other row but a little further away from the fire than mine. In the end none of us dared to. The two slots that were empty usually aren’t, and I think the owners were away from home with their cars because I didn’t see them or their cars anywhere. That’s incredibly lucky, because the first slot is also centimeters away from the wall (you can’t get it from that side because no grown up can fit in between the car and the wall, that’s how small it is on both sides) and if the car had been there, it’d have completely burned down too just like the other car on the other side. And the car in the second slot would have been damaged too.
It took maybe five minutes for the fire brigade to arrive, but it felt like forever. When they did, they got it under control fast, I thought. The walls were still standing, the roof was gone I think, and they pulled down the whole structure I guess for safety reasons. There’s now a pile of wet burned wood where the shelter used to be.
Apparently the fire spread to the whole structure quickly. One girl had come home from work about 10 minutes before, and there were no signs of fire at the time.
I texted the pertinen information to my Mom before I wrote this up; didn’t want to her learn about it in the news in the morning or anything like that and to tell that I’m okay.