Friday, October 2, 2009
There was a crazy fire that basically circled around our shop. We were really lucky to not have the shop set on fire. The Mallard Creek people saved us once again, but they do that because if we catch on fire it makes it closer to them catching on fire and with all their materials, it would be burning for weeks. Nicole and I went to Noodles and Co. for lunch and we were just finishing up and bullshitting and the power went off. Strange, I had never been in a restaurant or store when that has happened and it was the middle of the day and it was sunny outside. We watched for a bit how the employees ran around not knowing what to do and attempting to fill orders. Then Judy was calling me, when I answered she sounded really frantic, asking where we were and what we were doing. She wasn’t speaking very clearly but said there was a fire and she thinks it’s at the office. So we told her we were on our way and when we leave and walk outside the building and we both start to run and freak out because there are huge plumes of black smoke coming directly from where Performance is. I was driving like a bat outta hell to get back over there. We didn’t know what we were going to do when we got there, we talked about what our plan was to get out when we got there and if everyone is out and if everyone was ok. There were already helicopters flying around but they didn’t seem to be the fire ones yet. There were cops driving over 65 quickly heading back to where we work. Once we got to the first intersection that’s where the first block was and we couldn’t get any farther. Mat left his cell phone at home so we had no way of getting a hold of him to see if he was ok and what was going on. We drove into the parking lot where more employees seemed to be congregating. We talked to some employees from Teichert and my dad called and Julie called and we waved Charles in. Nicole talked to Shea who said they were evacuating the subdivision he was working in that is behind where the shop is. When talking to him she could hear the helicopters over him telling them to evacuate. Everything was hearsay because no one was able to talk to anyone that was back there. Judy was down on the other end of Cincinnati but couldn’t see much more than we could. My dad called frantically to see if everything was ok as well, he was out of town looking at a job. We see multiple cars leaving and we see Ben and flag him down, he says Mat was still back there making sure everyone gets out and locking everything up. Judy calls us and is heading over because she’s getting booted out. He said it’s basically right next to the shop and the cops forced them to leave. Not too much later Mat comes rolling up with my dad and Judy’s ski boat that was parked out in the back. We all sort of ended up coming together at the corner of Cincinnati and Sunset just watching. Murmurs started rolling and saying 4180, we all looked around, Nicole and I said that’s us… they had heard it was engulfed. We all started to get more anxious. I had feelings of just wanting to get back there to see if we could help and wanting to see what was going on, I felt blind. But the smoke was turning white, so we were breathing a little easier. The police officer got off his radio and called over to us and said that they were able to take down their blockade and we could drive down and see how far we could get, but they might only let business owners all the way back. Another thing that was terrible was that Nicole’s car was parked out front. We carpool for lunch and switch off days. Nicole had gone into one of the businesses to go to the bathroom and I had to call her to tell her to hurry up and come back so we could see how far we could get in. Everyone else left except us and Judy. We ended up getting all the way back in and walked around to check everything out. The wind was so crazy that if it was deciding to go our way that everything would have been gone. We had just a part of the fence that was ruined but the fire decided to turn away.
Some trees that lined up on the side of the building got burnt and it was right up against my dad’s tool shop. The Chevelle was parked out front and it looked like Mat drove up really quick. Some of the guys came back to check out the damage. Man, it was crazy though. As much as Judy hates this place I know she was sad and scared if it were to burn down. She looked like she had been crying. We helped Judy open up all the doors and what not to get an air flow in but then had to go home because there was no way we’d be able to work with all the smoke smell.