Flames soared into the pitch black sky.
Flames from next door.
The Opal was fine.
Of course, the people living upstairs who's open windows and a/c suddenly started sucking in copious amounts of gritty black smoke didn't know that.
I'd checked things out next door, and had determined that the 3 dozen or so firemen on the scene had things under control, so I decided to go home and loiter in the lobby.
Within minutes the lobby was filled with frantic women towing toddlers... sleepy little boys rubbing their eyes wearing crooked yamicas... little girls in pink night gowns clutching overloved stuffed bears... alert young men gripping their laptops...
Fearing the worst, people had come out carrying what they loved most.
I was the only one present empty handed... everything I love most was playing out in the dog run.