It seemed just like another ordinary working day. Everything was proceeding as normal until around 3pm the telephone at my desk rang. It was my wife Nithya. She said there was a fire at Evans Autos, a car dealership firm, very close to our house. Our road, as well as the main round around Evans Autos, was blocked off. Thick black smoke, billowing out from the fire, hung in the air around the vicinity. It was obviously a major incident. Nithya was going to take Anya, our daughter, and stay at my parents’ house. She said she would call me later when she gets more information.
|Fire behind Evans Autos|
Nithya phoned again at 5pm from outside our road. Her voice sounded calm and I heard some chuckling in the background. That gave me hope that the fire was under control and our house would be saved. Nithya said she didn’t know how long it would be before our road would be opened again. So she would go back to my parents’ house and wait there.
|Our house in the background|
Looking out of the window in the bedroom on the first floor, I saw how close the fire had been - just several yards away on the other side of the wooden fence at the end of the terrace. The fire had engulfed a set of small garages that had been standing there. There were still some firemen in the area making sure any remaining fire was completely extinguished.
|View from bedroom window shows destroyed garages|
Things could have happened very differently and I could be recounting a very different tale today. For that I am grateful to the fire services and, most importantly, to God. As my neighbour commented a few days later, there really seemed to be an element of divine intervention is this incident. This only convinced us to persist with our daily Rosaries and prayers, for this world is such an unpredictable place.