Holy hell, so today started out with something rather alarming. Nate woke up this morning and said he smelled smoke, so he was double-checking that it wasn’t coming from our condo or our building. I was kind of standing around uselessly ‘cause we all know I can’t really help in those type of situations.
But then we looked out the window and saw that the mall kitty corner to us had a big plume of smoke coming out of it. It didn’t look like too big a fire, but our first concern was that the cats that inhabit The Cat House, a cat-centric store with all sorts of scratching posts, toys, beds, and food, were safe.
Anyway, Nate goes off to work and I head to school about an hour later (I’m not a morning person, haha). By the time I leave the building, the air is full of smoke outside. I have to pass that mall to get to school, and I can see that the fire has gotten quite a bit bigger and they’ve got three fire trucks there trying to contain the blaze. They’re actually in the process of closing the street to traffic as I walk by.
I get to campus and check the news right away; luckily, I read that the cats from The Cat House were rescued and are doing fine. The fire, though, burns most of the day and produces a lot of smoke. The university even sent an email giving campus an air quality warning since the wind was blowing all the smoke right over top of U of C.
Anyway, the fire was finally contained and extinguished, but not before about a third of the mall was burned to the ground (including The Cat House—sad!). Apparently the fire started in one of the businesses and just spread like crazy because the building was so old.
Update: The Cat House is fundraising to get a new location.
Update update: It sounds like they’ve found a place and are negotiating a lease right now. Hopefully they’ll be up and running soon; they had a lot of toys Jazzy would like!