After making our way home, we began to put things away and organize our house somewhat, and our landlord, Rikki, came by to drop off the rental agreement and chat for a while. We then began to smell smoke in the air and made the assumption that someone was burning leaves in their yard, a common occurrence here to get rid of unwanted leaves and to prevent the mosquitoes from hanging around. However, when Steve and Rikki went outside, they discovered that it was actually a house in the neighborhood behind ours that was on fire. The fire began pretty small, but very quickly picked up speed and was soon raging out of control. The problem was that this house was part of a group of houses behind our subdivision which are made out of concrete, tin and wood and are jammed packed together. Rikki hopped on his motorcycle and headed over in the direction of the fire to make sure that the fire department had been called and Steve and I just stood there watching the house burn. There was absolutely nothing we could do. The fire department did arrive and the fire was able to be contained, but not before the house was completely destroyed and two others were gutted as well. Thankfully there was a cement block wall beside the house and it prevented the fire from moving down any further. Even though our house was not in any significant danger, we could feel the heat from the flames as we stood outside, and it was heartbreaking to watch it burn and know that everything that the family there owned, was now gone. After it was all over, Steve and I left our subdivision to see if we could find where the fire had occurred, but the neighborhood that it happened in was a maze of narrow, twisting alleyways and hundreds of makeshift houses and we were unable to find it. We then returned home and just sat, trying to process what we had just seen.
Please pray with us for the family who lived there and now have to start their lives over.
|The view from behind our house|
|The fire raging out of control|
|A firefighter checking things, notice that the house is completely gone|