Friday June 19, 2015 -- Was slaving away over a hot solder iron for you all around mid-day when I heard a scream or two and went to the window to see what sort of kerfuffle there was in the courtyard. Got the shock of a lifetime when I saw a wall of flame leaping about 50 feet above the top of the apartment building next door, just about 25 yards from my window. My picture window was even hot to touch! Thank God I was upwind or I might be a crispy critter in a bag right now (thanks, Lord!). As it was, some poor lady had to jump out of the 2nd floor window of the building next door, some bumps and bruises but last word she's okay.
CAL TV COVERAGE:
The top row of pictures doesn't do it justice, and somehow don't even show the flames in the brush, but the melted cars should give you some idea how intense it was -- and they were just parked across the street!
Some of the trees and shrubs on our property began to burn and if you're in the LA area and you were watching some helicopter shots on the news, you might have seen a guy in a yellow shirt with a dust mask (see selfie bottom right -- was trying to show the soot and ash that landed on me but I just look stupid) running around with a garden hose putting those fires out. Even had to argue some with LAFD guys on the roof next door who were claiming I was reducing their water pressure -- with my little pop gun of a garden hose. I kept going because we didn't need more airborne embers to spread to our complex. (None of that is to disparage LAFD because they knocked the fire down very quickly and did and always do a great job. But I think they neglected us just a bit, not because we had a wall of flame at the moment but because the falling embers could easily create one.)
Bottom left you can see the charred palm fronds from one of the palm trees whose ZZ Top beard caught fire and were raining down on us as we hosed things down. Some of them were still hot when I stepped on them so I got some minor burns on the bottom of my feet. (There was no time to throw on shoes.)
We still had phone and power but internet service was knocked out for several hours. The next building over was "under construction" -- in quotes because it had been nothing but the wood framing just sitting there for years. It burnt completely to the ground, and word on the street is the property just recently changed hands and suddenly it burns. The arson investigator finds that rather curious. If true, then someone is going to jail very soon because the building next to it, a very new one full of tenants, is likely going to have to be bulldozed, one lady got hurt and everyone who lived there is now homeless. Pray for them.
Anyway, if you're still waiting for an order, fear not, I've been slowed down a few hours but back up and running...