On the first night in Amsterdam, the sound of broken glass and male shouting woke us up in the middle of the night. In the back of my mind I thought drunks were getting rowdy and ignored the noise. But, it kept coming. Then we heard the door to our neighbor’s room open. His buddy at the door said, “Hey, there’s a fire next door at the building across.” That’s when I opened my eyes to see that it was light out and realized we had gone to bed at half past two in the morning, so no, it was not quite in the middle of the night; instead, five-thirty. I shot up in a sitting position and told Nick about the fire. He reacted the same way I did and we opened the curtain to see an apartment ablaze with orange flames and smoke. We could smell the smoke seeping through our window as we heard the sound of an ambulance and fire truck nearby.


Before the firemen arrived, we saw an elderly man from the upper left unit get out of his apartment to see what was going on. Nick was yelling, “Get outta there, man!” The man went back inside and fiddled with his windows, tightening them to prevent the smoke from getting inside; I saw a lady in two apartments to the left do the same thing. We’re not sure if he left his apartment or if the other neighbors did as well, but they were lucky the fire didn’t spread.

We had front view and watched as the firemen put out the fire and shone their flashlights in dark clouds of smoke to search for civilians. Too dark, we couldn’t see if they had found any bodies, but hopefully no one was hurt. After the fire had been extinguished, the firemen examined the apartment. They huddled and conversed, and we imagined they were discussing the cause of the fire. We watched until our bodies yearned for sleep again.

Happy 4th everyone! Hopefully no fires. We’ll be taking time off again for the move and exploring a bit of Aix en Provence. I’ll talk to you all next week. Cheers.



The fireman with his flashlight.



8 thoughts on “Fire!

  1. Glad both of you were fine! Enjoy time off. It is tourist season in Europe. Yesterday we were in Prague and it was so crowded.

    • Thanks! Enjoy your time in Prague! Are you guys going anywhere else? I’d love to see pictures later. 🙂 We’re debating about going there as well at some point.

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