Saturday morning I was awoken by the following conversation outside my window:
man: “Do you smoke?”
man: “Well, then your car’s on fire.”
woman: “Oh my god! Why is it on fire?!?”
At this point, I went from being half asleep to fully awake in a matter of nanoseconds. I jumped out of bed, looked outside my window, and fo’ sho’ – the trunk of her car was billowing smoke. The man called 911, and props to the IFD for arriving in less than two minutes. (No props shall go to the IPD, who strolled on the scene ten minutes later.) The firemen popped the trunk, took everything out and laid it on the ground, and extinguished the item that was smoldering. Then the woman looked over her stuff and said, “Hey, that’s not mine!” and pointed to a box. I thought, “Terrific! It’s probably a bomb that’s going to blow us all to kingdom come!” But I guess the firemen didn’t think so, because they opened the box and it was filled with what looked like rags. Then a guy on a bike rode by and told the firemen that two other cars were on fire just like this one earlier that morning in a different area of the apartment complex. Enter the arson detective who started interviewing everyone standing around, which by this time was quite a crowd and included a woman who was in the process of moving in with the help of her father. The woman looked young – probably 22, fresh out of college, and just starting out on her own. Her father had many questions to ask the fire department and the police, while one bystander tried (unconvincingly) to reassure them that nothing bad ever happens in this neighborhood. I think the consensus was that an arsonist had popped several car trunks, set some rags on fire, then closed the trucks and let the fires smolder. I heard the biker say that one of the other cars that was on fire earlier was completely totaled from fire damage.
Welcome to the neighborhood!