Our bedroom is in the back of our building and we have a set of large patio doors in the room, so if there’s any loud noises in the ally at night, we hear them easily. Last night I woke up at about 3:00 a.m. Something was going on out there. I thought it was just some late night revelers or the neighbors at first, but then I heard some yelling and knew it wasn’t. I go up and parted the curtains and saw that the sky was red. There were red embers floating up and a lot of smoke. For one scary moment I thought that our building was on fire.
Turns out it was a place really close to ours, across the ally. It seems like one garage was on fire and spread to a second. They were also spraying a garage across the ally, but I think it was precautionary. As far as the houses, I’m not sure. They look very damaged this morning, but I can’t tell if it’s just heat damage from the garage fires or if the houses were on fire too. They were for sure getting sprayed. There were about 7 firefighters in the ally dealing with the garages and I could see more inside the houses. They had flashlights and I don’t know what they were doing. There were also about 3 firefighters on the roof of one of the houses. I don’t know what they were doing, but it seemed like they were chopping with an ax or something?
In the front of our building there were at least 3 fire trucks. So much light and activity. I saw hoses attached to a fire hydrant nearby. I guess this must have been the closest spigot and they must have snaked the hoses to the back ally from there.
I can’t find anything about it online, but hope no one was injured in the blaze. Scary. Way too close for comfort. I watched for about 40 minutes or so and then went inside. The smell was terrible. I think there were cars in the two garages. All I could smell was burning rubber and smoke. A tow truck arrived as I was leaving. I assume it was towing wreckage out of the garages? I couldn’t really sleep once I got in, there was still a lot of noise outside, but at least I wasn’t breathing fumes any more.
If anyone sees anything about what happened, let me know! A couple years ago someone was lighting fires in our ally but I haven’t seen this happening lately. I also have heard stories about garages being set on fire, our garage being set on fire, before we moved in. I hope this is not the work of an arsonist!
This also gave me flashbacks to when we lived in Roscoe Village and the garage directly across from our coach house caught fire. That garage was brick, so the fire was mostly contained, but a car inside burned like crazy. It melted the siding off of our building. Luckily we were on vacation when that happened. I would have been freaking out if we were there.
One last thing, it looks like our local fire department, Engine 43/Ambulance 3, has a Facebook page. I just liked them. Thank you brave firefighters for taking care of this last night!