Watching Your Apartment Burn

Our pal Tiffany Bukowski is one of the 31 people displaced by this week's 4-Alarm fire on Haight and Fillmore, and see gives us a little insight into what goes through your mind as your neighbor runs down the hall yelling “fire”:

That’s the moment. The moment when you can see the avalanche approaching. The fire is at the doorstep. For some reason, my first thought was to lock the door and huddle in the closet furthest from the blaze. But Pierre, our neighborhood butcher, was yelling, “GO! GET OUT!” And that was when I thought, “What do I take?”

It’s one of those absurd questions you hear time & time again - what do you grab when the house is on fire? Let me tell you, it is not a moment born out of deep contemplation but the instant panic of loosing everything. First, my computer. On the couch. Then I turned around, grabbed my cell phone, keys, and finally my LC-A+ sitting on the counter top. The men were screaming louder now and between the knock on the door and me hopping over the broken glass of the fire extinguisher box: 12 seconds.

From emails to barefoot on the sidewalk: 30 seconds. Max. Wearing nothing but pink shorts and a white T-shirt, I looked up to the corner apartment and saw just how bad everything was. People were already gathered with their phones and cameras… there were no fire trucks. I started dialing friends and then my parents. No one tells you how difficult a touch-sensitive phone is to operate when your fingers are shaking. [Keep Reading]

Like so many of her neighbors, Tiffany is now homeless and most everything she owns is charred. So if you have any spare gift certificates, good books, or other apartment furnishings you can donate, send 'em her way at The Homeless Tiffy Donation Fund: 309 Sutter Street / San Francisco, CA / 94108.

Comments (2)

I’m so glad I wasn’t around when my building caught fire. I can’t even imagine what it would have felt like.

she spelled “losing” incorrectly