Is it me, or does it seem like that lately there are more and more sirens going on at all hours of the day & night? Last Sunday morning (3-22-09) around 5 a.m. I was awakened by the siren of a fire-truck racing down my street. My first thought was, really? There’s that much of an emergency that all of northern OB needs to wake up at 5 in the morning? I rolled over and went back to sleep.
I woke up 3 hours later to a local news station saying that a house in OB had been completely destroyed by fire. I thought to myself, how awful to lose your house and I hoped that nobody had been hurt…and then all of a sudden I felt rather petty about feeling inconvenienced by the siren jolting me from my slumber earlier. I have to learn to start taking one for the team.
Two days later I was walking down the 2000 block of Abbott St. between Cape May & Saratoga and I saw first hand the devastation on the west side of the street and was really blown away. I’ve been walking past this little cottage for years. I’ve always noticed that it had some of the coolest cactus plants outside of it, but that now it’s all been completely destroyed.
Just about everything these folks owned was destroyed. The looks of devastation on their faces as they tried to salvage and pack up the remains of their burnt and blackened belongings made me and the others I talked to about it, well up.
I didn’t want to bother them so I didn’t talk to the family right then but rather went back later. When I returned I didn’t see them around so I talked to their neighbor who asked to remain anonymous but who is a longtime OB resident.
I was told that at least 5 neighbors had called 911 before the blaze had gotten out of hand that morning and that ALL of their calls had been put on hold while they were forced to listen to a pre-recorded message that played on for minutes.
I was told that there was also a lot of fighting going on early that morning on that block and that the house just a mere 2 doors south, the same one that Pete Mahone had been arrested at 35 years earlier had it’s gate smashed down. Apparently this little section of Abbott has had quite a few stories involving the Police over the years as well, and it was lovingly referred to as a “red light district” by this resident.
There’s a story written on a piece of plywood on the front of the house where the front window used to be. It tells of an earlier nearby party and then of a fight that happened outside of this little charred dwelling that was once a family’s happy home. Perhaps a street person was involved and may have even started the blaze.
Luckily, the family with their 2 children, were not home at the time. Otherwise we might be talking about murder on top of arson because I was told that the 2 kids slept in the front of the house where it looks as if the fire was started.
It’s believed that someone lit the trash inside the trashcan on fire sometime after 4 a.m. and that the trashcan had been placed right outside against the front corner of the house.
I don’t know if the family wrote the message on the outside of their home or not, but I do know that we can show them that OB IS still OB and that we do look after, and take care of our own.
Any information that leads to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for this horrible and cowardly act is not only welcomed but needed. It looks like there may be a reward involved too. If anybody out there knows anything about who is to blame and can help bring closure to this family, please call the Western Division of SDPD at 619-692-4800 and let them know what you know.