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Things That Go Phwooff In The Night

Long Term Readers will recall from a couple years back a bit of fiction writing here involving my Border Collie Brothers, the annual Otters convention known as Buddha-Con, and the church on the next piece of property. Don't worry if you've missed it, you can catch up on my parts (and others) in that lunacy by jumping through my Memories or Archive or whatever LJ is calling it these days, looking for Buddha-Con 2004 or 2005 or some such... it will be the earliest Buddha-Con entry there.

This, however, is not related to that, other than it discusses the church next door, as it were. It doesn't look like a church from the outside. It's (at least to me) a fairly small congregation, and it's not from one of the major denominations. Most of the work they did to the building, they did inside. Usually twice during the summer months (early, and late) and again during the winter months, the congregation would host revivals and one could hear them singing and such from near a half-mile away. This usually constituted the most noticible activity there, other than their gathering each Sunday.

For the past two years though, they've not been seen much at all; not on Sundays nor for their annual get-togethers. I've occasionally chuckled to myself quietly over the coincidence of the story-telling and the actuality. But as the story-telling is just that, bits of interactive fiction, there truly is not relationship than coincidence.

Last night, the structure experienced a fire.

The Bros were sounding off through the night, and both Herself and I went out on several occasions to see what might be setting them off; there were (are) a couple young bovines from our next door neighbor's who've found a hole in the fence and decided the grass is greener on our side. That probably constitutes at least one such alarm. Herself says she saw what looked to her at the time like heat lightning in that direction on a couple of walk-abouts. Now she's not so sure. And just as she headed back into the house after her 04:00 walk, she heard approaching siren and heavy truck noise, didn't go investigate, and thought it could of been one of the mobile ICU's which are what we call ambulances these days.

Turns out the Williston Fire Department was still on site this morning about 08:00 when our next-door neighbor drove by. She called us, to give us the news. We didn't leap out to go investigate. Early afternoon when I headed over to Williston on the feed run, I can tell that a number of vehicles used our road/drive extra-gate as a turn-around zone (there's a lot of space there, rather deliberately, to be able to maneuver a livestock trailer if needed). And the west end of the building is collapsed, and obviously burnt.

Now, representatives of ATF are out doing some investigation. "'Curiouser and Curiouser,' said Alice."

Entirely too much excitement for this neck of the woods. Might be getting too crowded. And yes, good readers, the directions to our place do include 'Turn off the paved road onto the dirt road', many Locals are known to travel with actual shotguns (as opposed to say umbrellas or such) in those shot-gun racks inside their pickup trucks, and in fact those pickups and other 4WD type vehicles are actual sports or working vehicles as opposed to Yuppie Assault Vehicles. I would be hard-pressed to pick out the scratch from a keying on Forrest Nissan Pickup amongst the other scratches and dents put there by young bulls and underbrush.

People consider it to be polite to sound one's horn a hundred feet or so from a house when trying to raise attention, rather than going up and banging on the door. It's not unusual for them to come up and visit that way at all, either. Particularly someone wanting to know if there's goat or hog available for sale just now.

But burning buildings? That's hardly the norm around here.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
janetmiles
Jun. 23rd, 2007 08:55 pm (UTC)
I hope that it turns out to have been accidental or, at worst, stupid, rather than deliberate.
quietdarkness
Jun. 23rd, 2007 08:58 pm (UTC)
Years ago, my neighbor's house behind our back chain link fence burnt to the ground and I was totally clueless until it was almost a heap of rubble.

I kept looking our my front window and seeing people walking by and thinking "why are all these people walking through my next door neighbor's back yard?" I finally decided to investigate when I recognized my neighbor from behind our house walking through.

I opened up the side door, looked towards her house, and exclaimed to her, "Oh MY GOD! Your house is on fire."

Brilliant conversationalist, that's me:P

My oldest daughter and her daughter used to play together. Later we discovered that her husband was running a meth lab in the garage and that's what caused the fire. We live in a *nice* part of town and we had no clue. It could have blown us all sky high. And the irony part? Their kid was named "Crystal."

Not that I'm implying that your neighborhood church was running a meth lab:D
tx_cronopio
Jun. 23rd, 2007 10:00 pm (UTC)
Yikes, that's a little worrisome. You avoided the A word, but this doesn't sound so accidental, does it?
singingnettle
Jun. 23rd, 2007 10:31 pm (UTC)
You have an interesting neighborhood.

I hope no one got hurt next door.
fatfred
Jun. 24th, 2007 12:02 am (UTC)
Was not ottarz!

FF
i_amsherlocked
Jun. 24th, 2007 10:18 am (UTC)
uh oh!
starcat_jewel
Jun. 25th, 2007 06:38 pm (UTC)
Given that they seem to have been in difficulties -- you mention lack of activity around the building for the last year or so -- that suggests to me a higher likelihood of insurance fraud than hate crime.
madshutterbug
Jun. 25th, 2007 07:08 pm (UTC)
Also very possible is simply vermin-induced electrical problem. We are out in the wop-wops, and if the building isn't being used regularly, rodents could well of gotten into it and caused the fire by shorting the electricals. The worst damage is at the end where the electrical service entrance was located.
starcat_jewel
Jun. 25th, 2007 09:50 pm (UTC)
Good point. And that would be a more welcome answer than either of the others.
bordercolliebrs
Jun. 25th, 2007 08:46 pm (UTC)
We told you something was going on, Boss.
Smudge
curiouscat2
Jun. 28th, 2007 03:05 am (UTC)
I know I lived on the eastside 26 and 21
Everybody knows everyone and everything up in them parts.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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