In the wee hours of Thursday night into Friday morning August 28 - 29, I woke up and saw an unusually bright light filtering through my venetian blinds and closed draperies. I moved the drapery and viewed a broad wall of fire next door, with flames more than 30 feet across and leaping 30 to 40 feet into the air, to the tops of the tall trees on the back property line.
My late sister's beautiful four-car garage was totally consumed by those flames.
It was a very, very hot fire. It melted the thick walls of the plastic trash containers, both those beside the garage and one in my car port.
The firefighters arrived in time to save the house (she had left that property to Lipscomb University), and to save the house I live in, too.
The storage building at the back of my carport had already caught fire by the time the fire trucks arrived.
Some of the rear branches of the large hosta bush by my back windows were charred and many of its leaves were burned to a crisp.
And some of the shingles on the roof of the side porch were smoldering.
I can't praise the quick response and efficient work of the firefighters enough. They arrived within a minute of my call to 911 -- the dispatcher there told me I was not the first to report the fire and that a fire truck was on the way. Actually, they arrived with three fire trucks and immediately more than a dozen firemen went to work and began deploying hoses and wetting down my house as well as the house next door.
Ten minutes later the main wall of fire had been replaced with a plume of gray smoke. It took about 15 more minutes to deal with the small peripheral fires.
This was a very hot fire. It melted the
My sister and I backed her van out of that garage many times and set off for the grocery or the bookstore or on an out-of-town sight-seeing trip.
But it was a close call for my own house, and I do feel lucky that the night brought nothing worse than a destroyed garage on the property adjacent to this one.