(continued from part three)
"oh look!" a woman behind me said. "look, they're rescuing someone!"
a fireman had shimmied up a ladder next to a fire escape on the front of the building and was reaching out to a middle-aged man standing on the rickety metal contraption.
the man looked anxious, scared, but focused. there seemed to be some intense discussion between the two, as to how this might work. the man just kept reaching out. was he...? yes. he was handing something to the fireman. something large, and brown.
"they got him," the woman behind me said. "oh thank goodness, they got him."
in time, the smell of wet and burnt overtook the smell of smoke. there was some comfort in that smell. the smell of dead campfire.
it smelled over.
there wasn’t as much movement from the firemen anymore. stretchers were being taken away empty. oxygen masks were being removed. even some of the gawkers were dissipating, moving on. no one had been seriously hurt. there was plenty of damage to be sure, but everyone was alive. the gawker's stories wouldn't have the intense climax some of them had been waiting for.
we headed back around the corner to our home. to our apartment. if those flames had actually made the jump across the courtyard to our building, we likely wouldn't be allowed back in.