Saturday, April 14, 2007

Brann! Brann!

The doorbell rang shortly after dinner. Lise was with Julian, so I went down to see what was going on. It was one of the neighbor kids from down the street selling raffle tickets to fundraise for his football club. I ended up buying one. Someday Julian will be in the same situation. Besides, this kid lives down the street. He received bonus points for being easy to understand. Lise gave me a hard time, since she had declined a few offers, and said there have been two or three other people who have stopped by the past few days. These others were not from the neighborhood, and were raising money for dubious causes.

A little later in the evening, the doorbell rang several times in rapid succession. I was thinking there is no way I will buy from someone that rude. When I made it downstairs, I saw an adult woman at the neighbors across the street, on the cell phone, yelling at me in Norwegian, "fire! fire!" She asked me to get some water, so I filled a bucket and followed her up the hill as she spoke the the fire department. I could not see or smell any smoke, but I followed her anyway. At the top of the hill, I could see smoke. As we walked through some brush, I saw the fire. There was no way that a few buckets were going to make much of a difference. There was probably an acre of wildfire, spreading in a circle. The woman and another neighbor started beating the fire out with some scrap lumber they found. I went back for more water. By the time I returned, which was a few minutes, the fire department had already arrived. By this time, there were all sorts of neighbors out. I felt ridiculous with two buckets. The fire crew took care of everything in a few minutes.

My guess is that some kids started the fire. One neighbor thought that the sun could have started it by shining through some broken glass, but I found that idea to be far-fetched and rather naive. I don't think any houses were really threatened by the fire, although they could have been if it gained strength or if it went unnoticed for much longer. All in all, it was like a block party-- a great way to meet neighbors I haven't met before.

No comments: