The morning of the fire (it was a Thursday), I was woken up by loud trucks going up and down the Ford Street hill very early. I thought it was just the garbage truck, but at one point I opened my eyes and saw flashing lights on the opposite wall. I heard the siren go off, then it went off again. I checked Facebook, and gasped loudly, waking up my roommate. With barefeet, we ran to the chilly balcony and saw the pillar of smoke. I took pictures, then ran to the top of the Women's Leadership Center and took more pictures. My roommate and I stood there for a good ten minutes, just watching and listening.
Later that day I went down to look at the damage. I remember the large yellow pool of water that one of the firemen was sitting above, his booted feet dangling a few inches above the edge of the plastic yellow wall. He was laughing and smiling. He had a beard.