About two weeks ago or so, there was a horrible fire not far from our house. In fact, the flames were so close we were about to get our daughter, pets and the Important Papers box and run to the nearest motel. You know, before the flames got to our house.

The whole thing was incredibly tragic, on a lot of levels. Three people died. The rest I really can’t share, as we didn’t know the residents very well at all. I’ve managed to avoid driving past the house until this afternoon.

It’s a little surreal, a bit like a bomb dropped on the place. There was a ton of gasoline, motor oil, racing fuel and various odd and assorted solvents there to keep the blaze going; I think it took about 45 minutes to put it out. It’s now surrounded by a big chain-link fence. There are some flowers and notes stuck inside (one of the people who died was the 20-year-old son of the house’s owner), and a growing stack of bins filled with clothing and household items for the owner.

Our daughter hasn’t really talked about it much. When it was happening, she slept through the whole thing. We didn’t really know the people there, so she hasn’t asked about them.

The only thing she’s been asking about, so far, is the family’s dog.

There have been posters up all over our area. Apparently he managed to get out during the fire, and hasn’t been seen since. We do know the dog; in the summer he pretty much runs about the neighborhood at will, at least until the fire. He had a red collar with a pink heart on it, and School Girl latched onto that.

School Girl dreamed last night that their dog had been found, without his collar. “Mommy, do you think that means he’ll come back?”
“I don’t know, baby. He might. It’s been a long time though, so I’m not sure.”
“I hope they find him.”
“Me too.”


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