Lovely to see you again, my dears – well, I’m sure you’ll all have had one of those days when you know you should have turned over in bed and gone back to sleep. That is what happened to me a few days ago. If you remember I was just enjoying a visit from Giselle (and her cakes) when the Fire Alarm sounded. Now you don’t argue with the fire bell – you just get yourselves outside in an orderly fashion, but as quickly as possible.
Once we were in the garden, we could see smoke billowing from the back of the premises so it obviously wasn’t a false alarm or even a fire drill. No, there were a couple of fire appliances which were slowly edging their way down the side of the building and into the courtyard at the rear. There were several firemen rushing around and holding what appeared to be a very heavy hosepipe. After a short time things began to calm down, with the fire officers walking, rather than hurtling round at top speed.
After a further half-hour we were advised that we could all return to our flats but if anyone needed assistance with the stairs they were to ask, as the lifts were still out of action after being hastily shut-down. I didn’t mention earlier that two rather dashing firemen actually carried me down from the second floor. G went to search out the fire officers to ask if they would please take me back upstairs. Fortunately, it wasn’t a problem for them and within a few minutes I was back at my own front door.
It was only then that I found out what had happened to cause the fire. Apparently some unknown person went into the shed which is situated very close to the rear of the building. They decided to have a cigarette – strictly against the rules – and apparently a match must have been thrown away without ensuring that it had been properly extinguished. There are several items in the shed which need fuel, including the ride-on mower and unfortunately, the fuel, together with some oily cloths which had been left around, caught fire.
Fortunately the swift action of the firemen meant that, under the circumstances, the damage was limited. The shed itself, took the brunt of the flames and will need to be replaced. It was very fortunate that no-one was injured – the flats at the rear of the building which were the closest to the shed did suffer some smoke damage, but insurance will cover the cost of redecoration.
When I returned to my flat, I was a little perturbed. The front door was open and I know that I closed it before we left. The fireman went ahead of me and then quickly came back. He looked most unhappy and explained that my little flat – the place where I usually feel so safe – had been burgled! He obviously didn’t know what had been taken, but advised me not to enter until the police had been called.
I was really upset. This is my little flat – the one place that I feel is my sanctuary against anything that happens outside. I know there are plenty of crimes going on around me, but I didn’t expect that it would encroach into my wee flat. To be perfectly honest, my dears, I just burst into tears. This was just too much. What have I done to deserve such treatment – and then, I suddenly had a thought. Had the fire been set deliberately? Was it a ploy to ensure that I left the flat empty, or am I now just adding two and two together – and…..
Fortunately, once the local police officer realised that it was my flat that had been burgled, he came out very quickly. He did agree that it could be a possibility that I had been deliberately targeted. He and another officer called at every flat (and apartment) in the building and established that no-one else’s property had been disturbed.
When I actually looked closely around my flat I could have cried – again!! The furniture had been damaged and the contents of the fridge had been thrown around. My television had been damaged and every drawer had been opened and thrown on the floor.
Fortunately Giselle had heard from one of the officers what had happened and she rushed round to assist me. I then had a phone call from Teddy who said she was coming to check for fingerprints and not to touch anything. She said that she and G would clear the flat as much as possible and that one of them would stay with me overnight. Aren’t I lucky to have such good friends?
Well, my dears, I’m going to have to leave you now. This has shaken me much more than I would have expected. I’ll be back soon, with an update. As Always –
With Love – Jan xx