Proud to be living here

Earlier this week an accident turned into a nightmare for one Bridgewater family. They watched their house burn, while firefighters fought the blaze bravely. It was devastating and I highly doubt that anything will be salvaged, even though lots of the house "looks OK". Smoke, ash and water damage got everything that fire didn't. Neighbors and onlookers watched in horror as the home went up in smoke and flames.

The firefighters (mostly men, but at least two women!!) were valiant volunteers. They came quickly, in huge numbers, and stayed for several hours. Firetrucks spread over 1/4 mile. It reminded me of the St. Patty's day parade when I ask myself each year "how many firetrucks ARE there in Somerset County?"

Once the firetrucks left and the crowd that had gathered on nearby lawns disbursed, neighbors gathered. One neighbor brought pizza, others pooled drinks, and they brought whatever we thought might be needed: toothbrushes, clothes for the first few days, toiletries, etc.. Neighbors were practically tripping over each other to be the first to offer a bedroom.

Every time I mention that I live in this neighborhood, I hear the same thing, "PLEASE let me know if there is anything I can do".

As often as I have complained about Bridgewater's snobbishness, or write of suburban angst, I am so proud of how our community has rallied over this family. They are really great people.

The family is fine. No one was hurt and they were able to save some pictures and a few personal items (the daughter's iPod was actually playing when a fireman found it!). It made me want to upload all my pictures to a server offsite like snapfish or kodak.

In my childhood my "fever nightmares" were always about a fire that spread through the whole neighborhood and all the houses went up in fire. This was the opposite of that nightmare - it was the "best case scenario" if your house was going to go up in flames. No injuries or deaths, some of their most precious things were saved and their friends and neighbors are doing whatever the insurance company isn't!

I haven't checked with the family today, but I think they are in very good shape.

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