As we walked down Central Avenue with our neighbor, the sight was incredible. Central was closed off, and fire trucks and ambulances were all around the intersection of 15th Street trying to put out the fire in an apartment building. Smoke was billowing, ash was blowing, and flames were coming out the windows. The fire trucks were using huge hoses and water cannons to get water into the building. Fortunately for us, the wind shifted around and blew the smoke in another direction for the rest of the night and next day, but our townhouse smelled like smoke for a while.
It was the historic Castle Apartments building that burned, a lovely building with 20 apartments, surrounded by huge shady trees. We used to live one street over and passed by it all the time. It was the kind of place I thought I'd like to live in.
The next day we went over and talked to a neighbor up the street as we watched the water cannons continue to pour water on it and a waterfall streamed out the front door. He said it was the kind of place that never had a vacancy--as soon as someone gave notice, they had someone waiting to move in.
Now it's just an empty shell. I wonder if they'll be able to save any of the walls, all that's left. It's bad enough to lose a great historic building to "urban renewal" or neglect, but to lose a well-kept landmark to a horrific fire that leaves 20 families without homes and destroys everything they own is just sad.