(Ibis arrived safely last night, we stopped by a bar to watch some hockey, then went to bed early.)
This morning I was checking emails when a loud boom rang out across the neighborhood. That's not uncommon in the land of fireworks and guns for all, but this was much louder than normal. I looked towards the window in time to see birds flying every which way. Then a plume of smoke caught my eye.
I decided I wasn't in danger of getting shot and approached the window. Fire engulfed a yard on the next block and was quickly climbing the trees. People were stopped in the street, staring at the burning garbage. (At least I assume that's what it was. There is garbage pick-up here but people still burn a lot.)
Despite its growing size, I figured they had it under control and returned to my email. A few minutes later a police siren drew me back to the window. This neighborhood is rougher than most but sirens are still a rare sound. No one seemed to know what to do. The flames covered nearly 20 square feet of the yard and black smoke filled the air as more people gathered to watch.
I returned, again, to my email until I heard a fire truck approaching. This must be serious! The sirens were clearly those of a fire truck but the vehicle that arrived was a pipa, a large truck that delivers water. Within minutes the flames were gone and white smoke replaced the black.
By the time Ibis returned from his run all had returned to normal. Thank god we're in a concrete building - it'd take a lot for the fire to get to us.