I believe it was Jean and Poy who were first to arrive at the scene. We had just stepped out of MV Logos Hope and got a call from Poy. He calmly explained to me, “the fire is not yet burning your studio but it is very close”. To which, I replied, please pull out all our Macs and hard drives because the only thing worse than having your residence and workplace erased is having files erased. Yes, that could easily be a very sad summation of the human condition.
The traffic was already bad and there were a few roadblocks in place so we had to walk the last 300 meters to the studio. That’s where we saw Carlo, running in what looked like his pyjamas. We ran with him the rest of the way.
When we arrived, the studio was indeed not burning down. Jean and Poy were there and there was thick black smoke coming from a nearby textile warehouse. The firemen were spraying water from on top of our roof and onto the burning lot. The fire started around 3 PM (perhaps?) The last firetruck left our house at around 8 PM. But not before running out of water at around 5 PM – where we had to scurry around the compound, collecting water from all the houses in buckets, lifting them up and down the street and refilling the Barangay Penetrator (which is, truthfully, the official name of small firetrucks in this part of the world). 5 PM was also about the same time Randi arrived. I chat with Randi every now and then – we make plans to go on bike trails and it never really happens but there he was lifting buckets of water with us. He told me it was the first day of his 3-month vacation and that he was taking a break from office stress. (LOL <3)
Ted arrived at around 7 PM. I had not seen him since grade school. He said, “so you do still live here” and I said yes – although there was really twenty years in-between the last two times I lived on this street.
Thank you, friends. I now know that you are all just a smoke signal away. For real though, to everyone who called, texted and dropped by to check on us and help us, thank you. No one was hurt in the fire and all is well.