The Day My Neighborhood Caught on Fire

It was a quiet Thursday night at home. I was curled up on my couch, reading when whiffs of smoke started to fill the air. Thinking it was one of the neighbor’s frequent  summer BBQ’s, I stepped out onto my balcony to confirm my suspicion. Complete silence.

“Weird”, I thought. Normally the neighbors hold no qualms about turning up their flamenco music and clapping whole-heartedly “ole!” with their grilled salchichons and hamburgers all through the night.

Instead, I looked up and saw tendrils of thick, black smoke creeping over the roof.

Something wasn’t right.

I dashed back inside and peeked out my kitchen window and saw this:

The entire hillside had caught on fire, and it was spreading. Fast.

The night was particularly breezy, and it didn’t help, coaxing the flames closer and closer to the houses in front of me.

It was eerily quiet. I didn’t hear the sirens of police cars, the rumble of a fire-truck’s engine, screams of shock. Nothing.

112 (Spain’s 911) was called and the waiting began. Minutes passed and the fire was getting bigger and bigger. People were starting to gather and watch from a safe distance.

Finally, the sirens pierced the anxiety in the air.

Nearly 15 acres of hillside were burned down to nothing. And the worst part?

Someone intentionally started the fire.

Luckily, the firefighters were able to extinguish it before it could reach any houses, and no one was hurt. Gathering from the whispers between neighbors, this sort of thing unfortunately happens nearly every year.

Now, the view out of my window is a bit charred, but that’s the least of my worries as the houses in the neighborhood weren’t damaged, and no one was hurt.

Have you ever witnessed a fire of this extent first-hand? Where did it happen? Tell me in the comments below:



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