Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Local Fire Hits Really Close to Home

On Monday November 7, as my mother and I were driving past the Greenback/Sunrise intersection, we were completely surprised by what we found. We had made the commute several times, working to move belongings into our new Citrus Heights home. This time around, the intersection was almost completely blocked. We could see a huge plume of smoke and dancing flames in the fading daylight. A local store, Tuesday Morning, was on fire. Police were redirecting traffic to give ample room for the firefighters to battle the flames. According to the article, “more than 80 firefighters and 15 fire trucks” were present to take matters into hand. Luckily, no one was hurt, and everyone got out unharmed.

Personally, this fire was greatly disturbing to me. Usually, we see most incidents and tragedies on the news on TV—and that’s where they stay. I never considered that anything this crazy could happen this close to the new home we were moving into. We live barely a few miles north of that same intersection. It scares me to realize that I am not invincible to any possible dangers that we hear about. I never watch the news because I feel that it brings only negative thoughts of danger all around us—it makes me paranoid. Nevertheless, I became ever more watchful and careful about my surroundings.

Unfortunately, despite my mindfulness, I was again surprised by what occurred on our second night living in our new home. My room faces the street we live—it is fairly quiet at night here, and my window is open. Near 1 a.m. in the morning, I am forced out of bed by a creepy squeaking sound somewhere outside. I look out my window into the darkness to try to catch a glimpse of the source of this horrendous noise. I am not wearing my contacts so I reach for my handy binoculars. Looking through the only working eyepiece, I notice some darkly dressed figure. It is a bum pushing a shopping cart full of who-cares-what, and one of its wheels desperately needs oiling. The dark shadow slowly creeps and squeaks up the dimly lit street curving out and away from the house. What a strange omen, I thought as I crawled back into bed.

Some hours later that night, our property was separately “visited” by two other strangers. I had to call the C.H. Sherriff’s Dispatch three times that night. My mom had left her car doors open—one of the strangers had helped themselves. Maybe that fire that marked our relocation was a warning. Maybe more trouble simply follows trouble. A strange omen it was indeed.

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Cause of Tuesday Morning store fire still to be determined
By Cathy Locke and Hudson Sangree
Published: Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011 - 9:39 am
A chain link fence surrounds the Tuesday Morning store in Citrus Heights this morning as investigators prepare to enter the gutted building where a fire raged on Monday afternoon.
A cause for the fire has not been determined, Assistant Chief Scott Cockrum of the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District said today.
Several hours after fire erupted – sending up a huge plume of black smoke that could be seen across the region – firefighters poured thousands of gallons of water on the store's smoldering remains.
At one point late Monday afternoon, the dramatic orange flames and billowing smoke attracted dozens of spectators to the busy Citrus Heights shopping area north of Sunrise Mall during the evening commute.
The fire – near Sunrise Boulevard and Greenback Lane – started about 4:15 p.m., when two clerks and six customers were in the outlet store, fire officials said. All managed to get out and were unharmed, they said.
More than 80 firefighters and 15 firetrucks and engines were called in to battle the three-alarm blaze, Cockrum said.
Firefighters poured 6,000 gallons of water per minute onto the flames from hoses on ladders extended above the rooftop to finally douse it.
The Tuesday Morning store and the neighboring Hoss Lee Academy, a salon and cosmetology school, were fully engulfed, Cockrum said. A good fire wall, he said, prevented the fire from spreading to the adjoining Rite Aid store.
Earlier, firefighters were on the roof of the Tuesday Morning store as it began to collapse but quickly climbed down. No injuries were reported.
As the flames subsided, water flowed across the parking lot. Layers of the collapsed roof and contents of the store continued to smolder, sending up a cloud of smoke and steam.
Although some firefighters and engines were released shortly before 7 p.m., Cockrum said other firefighters and investigators would continue working into the night.
The three businesses are in a building on the northwest side of the Sunrise Festival shopping center. Several buildings in the portion of the center that fronts on Greenback Lane are vacant and undergoing remodeling, including one scheduled to house Sprouts Farmers Market.
"This is a tremendous economic loss," Cockrum said, of the fire damage. In addition to the property loss, he noted, it affects employees of the two businesses, as well as students at the Hoss Lee Academy, several of whom arrived for classes Monday night only to be turned away by police and firefighters.

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