January 12, 2008

A Suicide Bomber Tried to Kill Me!

Before you panic, let me reassure you. Apollo and I are both okay.

Here's what happened. Early this morning, my building was rocked by an explosion. I slept through it. And the fire alarms. Though to be fair, I had fallen asleep on my couch and was nowhere near my fire alarms which has strobe lights. Apollo woke me. Such a good boy.

My hero.

After several hours of waiting outside, we found what happened. This news article sums it up.

Authorities say six people were hurt, including three police officers, when a person trying to commit suicide sparked a three-alarm fire at a Seven Corners high-rise.

Firefighters were called to the Cavalier Club apartments in the 6200 block of Wilson Boulevard about 7:45 a.m. Saturday for a report of a suicide attempt in a second-floor apartment.

They were waiting nearby for police to arrive when there was a sudden explosion, and fire flashed out of a second-floor apartment, police said.

Police officers broke through a glass window and rescued the man, who suffered serious burns. He was flown by helicopter to Washington Hospital Center, where his condition was unknown late Saturday afternoon.

The blaze quickly went to three alarms, with more than 400 people being evacuated from the complex. It took more than 100 firefighters to douse the blaze.

The officers who rescued the suicidal man suffered smoke inhalation, police said. Two were treated at a nearby hospital and released. One remained hospitalized for observation. Two building residents suffered minor injuries fleeing the blaze.

Most residents were allowed to return to their apartments Saturday afternoon. A few families were displaced due to smoke and water damage, fire investigators said.

Fire officials said the blaze could have been much worse if they had not already been at the scene for the suicide attempt call.

**** Update: Police said the fire started in Apartment 211, and the four men who lived there were left homeless by the blaze. One of them was the seriously injured man. Fire investigators said the apartment is a total loss and the fire was intentionally set.

Scary. What the news didn't say is the rumor that UPDATE: The suicidal man deliberately set off the explosion in an attempt to not only off himself, but also to try set the entire building on fire. I'm very pissed about this. It essentially is an attempted murder/suicide. Why couldn't the guy have picked a less destructive way to go out?

Anyway. The apartment where this occurred is in a different wing from mine. Essentially, on opposite side of the building. Here's the "after" pictures. I couldn't find decent "before" pictures, sorry.

It's completely gutted inside.

Stove in question that was an unwitting tool.
This extinguished was at least 30 yards away. I don't know if it was blown there or thrown.
Around the corner, you can see the damage to the building itself.
All the way from 2nd floor (I know it looks like ground floor,
but this building is on a hill) to the top.
The stark white blinds just struck me.
Apollo is bored by all the commotion.
"Please, no paparazzi!"
"Very well! I'll pose like a hero that I am."

And here's a bad video someone shot using his phone:

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