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Block Party

Saturday, August 07, 2010
I'm going to sound supremely insensitive for saying this, but, last night, I found it cool that, when the Shamrock Market - just a few blocks from my house - went up in flames and PGE turned off the power to the neighborhood, everyone went outside on a nice summer day to marvel at the spectacle and mingle.

The crowds mingling as the fire is put out

It's terrible that a local business went up in flames. I won't say otherwise; I used to live practically across the street from it and would stop in to get ice or a snack every once in a while. Acknowledging that loss, however, the community event that it turned into was fun. It's like that random bit of snowfall on a weekend that's just enough to keep folks from driving, so everyone turns out to make snowmen and throw snowballs. I met more neighbors last night than in my first six months of home ownership here.

Lots of trucks showed up

Also, watching the firefighters put out the fire was fascinating. Despite pumping hundreds and hundreds of gallons of water at the fire, it took them over two hours to get the fire under control. Reports on the street indicated that nobody was injured, but it still surprises me that it took so long for the Shamrock - and the vacant building space attached next to it - to burn. Even an hour and a half after the fact, I could still see flames shooting up from areas that the firefighters had just doused in water, as if the whole building were kindling just waiting for a match.

I do hope the building was insured and that it can be rebuilt. This neighborhood doesn't need a burned out shell of a building lingering for long, that's for sure.

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