Cedar Chest vs. House Fire (Wait, What About the Van?)

Last Wednesday just before 6am, I woke up to a strange light coming through the slit between my curtains. Later, I’d determine the light’s three sources: a firetruck, a firefighter’s high-output flashlight, and the flames shooting up from the townhouse in front of mine, 20 steps away. Heading downstairs, I smelled smoke, and, more subtly, cedar. Just seven hours ago, I’d finished building a cedar chest. The garage was still covered in cedar. Cedar shavings on the miter saw, cedar dust around the orbital sander, cedar off-cuts in a cardboard box I’d labeled “Cedar only!”. The cedar chest had been the last thing I’d worked on before going to bed, and now, even as I exited my apartment with all my valuables in a backpack, it was still on my mind. I looked back at the chest one more time and imagined the cedar lid catching sparks. Continue reading “Cedar Chest vs. House Fire (Wait, What About the Van?)”