Late night Wednesday, right after I’d posted my latest blog – S is for Smith (my favorite poets from A to Z – volume 19) – smoke began filling our house and we began to hear lots of sirens.  WTF?!?  Was our house on fire?  Smelled a bit like burning plastic….

But it wasn’t us or our neighbors.  And I could barely see the Convenient store across the street from us for the dense smoky fog.  Then suddenly it became clear… the former General Industries building about a block away, straight in front of our house, suddenly turned into a bit of a towering inferno.  Despite the constant rain, burning embers filled the air above our house.  We heard what sounded like propane tanks exploding, and it was getting hard to breathe inside the house.

So we packed into the car and headed for Mom’s house.  I knew she’d be frightened by a 2:30 a.m. phone call, but it was either that or sneak into her house unexpected and perhaps scare her more.

We ended up sleeping in her basement.  When I returned to our house around 8 a.m., we had no electricity, the house was still filled with smoke, blocks around the factory were sealed off, fire departments from 3 counties were still trying to get the fire under control, and all the major Cleveland TV news vans were camped out in the Convenient parking lot.

If not for the pouring rain, things could have been much worse (and I would have gotten better pictures) – in fact, the remains are still smoking as I write Friday morning.  I wanted to video it as soon as it happened, but Geri would not let me go any closer than we already were.


Thankfully, it appears no one was seriously injured.  And all the residents are back in their homes.

Here’s a video our local newspaper, the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram, posted on You Tube:


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