Everyone has a foolish neighbor. You know, the one who only cuts his grass three times a year, or has decided peeling paint on his home is more fashionable than employing a quick paint job. Our foolish neighbor, whose backyard butts up to my dad’s property also enjoys hosting bonfires in his backyard using gasoline as his accelerant. So it really came as no surprise yesterday when his garage kind of blew up and then burned down.
The boy and I were driving home after picking up his tuxedo when we ran into a traffic jam of looky-loos, trying to see where the black smoke plumes were originating from or maybe they just wanted to rubberneck at the four emergency vehicles blocking traffic on the side street. Regardless, my street was stopped up with traffic preventing me from getting home. As we slowly moved up the road, I watched more commotion come from my father’s driveway, sparking more concern. “What the heck are they doing?” I said to the boy. A worried look crossed both our faces.
Parked at the end of my dad’s driveway, I watched two complete strangers manhandle my father into my sister’s car–in an emergency type fashion. Then one of them ran into the street to block traffic so my sister could back her car out of the driveway. “Oh God!” I thought, “Maybe the fire spread to his house…” My sister then backed up straight back into the doll’s school parking lot and stopped. But as her car pulled out of his driveway there sat my dad’s best buddy–his rollator walker. “Something’s definitely wrong, he needs his buddy to walk!” I said aloud. Shocked that she had left the darn thing there on the lawn for anyone to take. “I’m getting out…” the boy said, quickly releasing his seatbelt and jumping out from our car to run towards my sister. Then traffic began to clear and I drove four houses down to drop off my car, before returning.
“You left buddy…” I said as I approached my sister’s car, “Is he alright?” I asked, pointing to my dad. “Mar Mar…” My dad began, “I’m okay, but your sister here scared the hell out of me…” He said in return. “Well I was on my way to the bank and as I began to pull out of his driveway I noticed the flames. That idiot likes to use gas and there were a couple of cars parked next to his garage and I wanted to make sure he was safe…” She rambled. “Who were those people?” I asked. “I have no idea, just some people looking to see the fire, I suppose” she replied. With the fire almost completely out, I said, “I’m going to take buddy back up to the house. Why don’t you run to the bank with dad…” “Thanks, Marsha,” she replied and then we parted company.
Back to the neighbor…he blew up his old one-car garage when he attempted to start an old corvette he had stored inside. The car backfired, igniting the back of his garage on fire. Within seconds, the structure and car were engulfed in flames as heavy black smoke plumed into the sky. In addition, the heat from the fire was so intense, his next door neighbor’s vinyl siding on the backside of their home, melted, leaving our neighborhood to stink for several hours afterward.
Thankfully, no one was injured.