She smelled something. "Honey do you smell that?"
"I can't smell anything"
"Come over here, smell this....it's coming from the heater, something is burning."
She looked out the window, and she didn't see anything, but her nose was telling her: Emergency.
She started walking down the stairs and smelling at each floor, trying to find the source of the fire. She was hoping she would find an apartment that had burnt their rice, a turkey, had been burning incense that mimicked campfire smell. She let the Super know and kept searching.
Finally she heard her husband on the bottom floor, and they headed outside.
On the street were about 10 firetrucks, 40 firefighters, and smoke billowing out of the apartment next door to their building. The wall in her bedroom shared a wall with the building that was burning, at the same level. As the firefighters bashed out the windows of the building with their picks and ladders, the smoke billowed directly into their heater unit.
After watching the destruction and the firefighting for about an hour, she was getting cold. She went back upstairs and found the smoke smell had increased dramatically and her out-of-town neighbors' smoke alarm was going off. As she was finding her coat, a crew of firefighters made their way into her bedroom with their gear and their picks and uniforms and measuring gizmos. They walked straight to her shared bedroom wall. Her adrenaline started pumping and she willed the firefighters to keep those picks in hand...please DO NOT bash a hole in my wall so that you can fight the fire...and please get that big black boxy thingy off the white bedspread....and the boots....!
They told her that the Carbon Monoxide levels were high and to get out.
So they did. She packed up everything she could think to pack as fast as she could. She was getting light-headed from the fumes and her eyes were burning from the ashes and smoke. She managed to collect everything and warn her friend with a phone call: We're coming.
They were welcomed with open arms and enjoyed a smoke-free evening, sleeping in a cozy bed. The spirit of Christmas from one family to another.
Their prayers were with those whose homes were absolutely destroyed from fire and fire fighters last night. While watching the fire, her daughter kept saying: "I hope the doggies are okay." Thankfully, they didn't notice any human or animal life that had been hurt, just stuff. And their home was protected as well... a Christmas Miracle.