Community lost without swift response (Daily prompt use it or lose it)

Use It or Lose It

Communities are seeming like a lost art in the hustle and bustle of daily life in this ‘civilised world’.

How civilised are we if we don’t know our neighbours. Do you know yours?

We need one another all the time but sometimes it is only in an emergency when we truly feel and recognise the neighbourly love and care that could be felt every day.

harbor_ovrlkI’m grateful to live in a close nit community where we do know and care about one another on a daily basis. We have no security here, no emergency services within close reach. We do have one another and the care and compassion and challenges of this knowledge.

Use it or lose it is the subject of this daily prompt and I for one find that it relates to using or losing our sense of community. Love is meant to be shared and if we don’t use and express the love and caring for our neighbours and neighbourhood before you know it though we have people living next door we have lost our real neighbours and community.

It was a quiet night. Nothing out of the ordinary. I was at my computer working on some sort of mindless project or perhaps a mindful project… then I thought I heard the distinct sound of two cats at each others throats wailing their dominance. It was high pitched and brief but enough of a commotion in our quiet harbour community for me to go to my door and look out and listen … nothing. Nothing at all. My neighbour Ike in his boat berthed next to mine looked out at the same time and we commented that we had heard this commotion and then went back to our respective activities.

308266850_2404aab0e7_oWithin moments -we both heard it again. My view faced my neighbour, Ike so I was looking at one half of the harbour and his view looked the opposite way towards me and faced the other half of the harbour. This time the high pitched call remained long enough for us to hear it while we had our heads outside. Ike’s view suddenly brought perspective. He could see a few docks over and saw the flames erupting into the air as one of our neighbours floating homes was clearly on fire.

Ike yelled to me fire and we both immediately dropped what we were doing and raced out of our boats and over to the dock where the flames were engulfing the floating home. Seems at least 10 of us in the harbour had risen to the occasion and we were all scrambling to hook up hoses and get in position to battle the fire down. The emergency services had been called and were on their way but we are in a remote area and know that our first defense was in one another. I think we all felt the sense of emergency and the very real urgency. Wooden boats and docks are no match for an out of control fire so we could not let this fire get out of control.

I don’t think I ever really felt that we might never come back form this if not handled professionally and swiftly.  Somehow we are survivors out here so that frame of thought isn’t in the cards!

The fire had been started by a chimney fire and the residents of the house hadn’t even realised they were on fire till all the commotion began. They were still inside trying to round up their animals. My neighbour, Ike, had grabbed a few fire extinguishers from the dock and was inside the house dousing the flames at the source. Meanwhile our harbour master and owner Eric, had climbed up on the roof of the house and we had passed hoses to him so he could get the fire out from outside and keep it from spreading. With the team work on hand the fire was extinguished within probably 20 minutes though I think for all of us it felt more like a couple of hours.

firefighters2The fire department showed up in a timely manner considering our location and took over with the investigation and ensuring no further sparks etc. The fire department was there for a couple of hours probably but there were no more flames to extinguish and all was safe now.

The events related are true and took place about 12 years ago .. in 2002 or 2003

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4 thoughts on “Community lost without swift response (Daily prompt use it or lose it)

  1. I was there . My dog Sophie wanted to go out around 10 PM. We stepped outside the door and I saw flames coming out of the chimney of the houseboat on the next dock. That neighbor burned bad stuff most of the time and I was afraid it might land on my neighbor Wendes boat. She was gone and I was babysitting her boat and another neighbors boat so I felt triple stressed!
    Then I realized the fire was not coming from the chimney. It was coming out of the wall on the first floor. I started screaming “Fire”!!
    Kimberly peeped her head out the upstairs window . “where? ” she asked. “Your house. Look!”
    A minute later a half dozed neighbors came to the rescue, then the fire deparent . Thank goodness for my dog Sophie.

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  2. This is a wonderful testament to the importance of community. I hate to say that I really don’t know my neighbors very well. At best, we are passing acquaintances. I have the excuse that I moved here because I took a job promotion . My work life is so full of people and constant interaction that when I come home at the end of the day all I want is solitude. But that is not a good excuse. I really need to make an effort to know my neighbors. Thanks for the great post.

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    • I’ve noticed lack of neighbours and neighbourhoods a lot and lived a few places where it has practically felt like a crime to try and be friendly and get to know the neighbours. I’m not sure what causes this… But good neighbours and those relationships are wonderful both in good times and in bad. Hope you start discovering some good neighbours

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