Tonight when we were working in the store, about 5:30pm, we noticed some flashing lights outside the front door. When we went out to look, there was an ambulance in our neighbors driveway. My first thought was “Oh no, someone probably got hurt “. But as we walked out to see who it might be, we noticed that there were fire trucks in the street. So we ran back to our place to grab the keys and the camera, locked the door, and ran out to try and figure out what was going on.
All of a sudden we could see smoke. Unbelievable black smoke, white smoke billowing out of somewhere. We couldn’t see where it was coming from. It appeared to be very close, but we couldn’t tell.
As we were quickly moving to the back of the buildings, the wires overhead were flashing and exploding. Bright lights filled the night sky as we made our way in the dark. It was then that I told Landon that we had to stay together. And also, it was then, that our neighbor told us that the building next to him was on fire.
We ran to the back, and me, forgetting that there was a ditch constantly filled with water that separated our parking lot from the lot behind us, was there……..and………… SPLAT, UG!! THAT’S COLD!!
By the time we got to the back of the building, it was already engulfed with flames. Then within, what seemed like seconds, the roof collapsed. More smoke just pouring out from all over.
The firemen were doing their best to tame this wild beast but there was no stopping it. Explosions were happening pretty frequently on the inside and the heat was very intense. I asked one of guys that was in the back with us if that car that was in the building was going to exploded and he said, “No, but the tires probably will”. We didn’t stay in that area for to long because of the danger, so we headed to the front.
As we headed back, I wasn’t going to get my feet wet again, so I walked a little further down past the first place I stepped in and………SPLAT, UG!! Not again!! This one was worse!!
From the time we noticed the lights on the ambulance until the roof collapsed, it couldn’t have been more than 5 minutes. That fire had a mission. And that mission was to destroy anything and everything as fast as it could.
At this point, we don’t know how the fire started, or when it started, but we are so thankful that the Schaumburg fire department was able to stop it from spreading to our neighbors building!!
By the time we got to the front of the building, just across the street, there wasn’t much to see from where we were standing except that the windows in the front appeared to have been blown out.
We wanted to get a better view. So, as we were on the other side of the street, we kept on walking past the building and all of a sudden, a great cloud of smoke seemed to just drop on our heads. It felt as if tiny pieces of rubber were covering us up and I couldn’t breath. So as fast as I could, I ran back to where we were standing before. I think Landon kept going and I stopped to talk to some other neighbors.
Wow. That’s all I can say. It doesn’t even seem real! Did this really happen, or was it a dream? It all happened so fast!!
It will be interesting to hear what actually happened. How did it start? Was anyone in there? Who called the fire department? And so on, and so on.
Shortly after we had crossed the street to get a better view, the police told us that they were evacuating the area and we had to leave. So I asked for about five minutes to close up and gather our things and the police officer reluctantly gave us that.
Once inside, I felt as if we needed to leave as fast as possible because I think they were just looking out for our safety.
When we went back about four hours later, we couldn’t really see the extent of the damage. So we went inside our place, finished closing up, and left.
Tomorrow we will be able to see the extent of the damage in the daylight.
Here are some pictures of the fire.