Tuesday, May 17th I was walking home from tutoring and there were a lot of fire trucks in my neighborhood. The trucks became denser and denser the closer I got to my house and my attitude crept from "wow, so many fire trucks" to "uh oh, so many fire trucks" As I approached the end of 118th at Park (that's my intersection) I was like "Oh good, my building isn't on fire." But something very big had been going down.
The situation is: There's the garden center/nursery beneath the Metro North tracks between 116th and 117th and they have a bunch of storage and offices between 117th and 118th. About twenty minutes after I had left my house that evening to go to tutoring a fire broke out in the storage area (cause of fire later determined to be someone refueling a still-hot generator) that quickly escalated into a spectacular four alarm blaze that brought out every fire engine in the world and shut down the Metro North right in the middle of rush hour. The street was all taped off and the firemen said I couldn't go into my apartment building (although I could see my neighbors in their windows). Me and this other guy just kept asking different firemen if we could go down the block to our apartments until we finally found one that said yes.
The fire was completely out by the time I was home, but they were hosing it down and working all night right outside my window. The Governor even stopped by to check on the situation.
The fire was so hot that it bent the girders that hold up the train tracks and the next day they were already working hard to reinforce the girders...even the job looked done to me by the end of Wednesday, they keep working on it till this day.
The fire was so hot it melted the sides of cars parked on the street
But that's nothing compared to this truck that I assume was under the tracks during the fire.
As soon as I saw my building wasn't on fire my first concern was for the chickens that live at the 117th street end of the garden center. It was a real relief to see they were all ok Wednesday.
Oh, also no humans died either.