Today 12/10/14 a fire at the Firehouse restaurant on s Michigan ave burned for app 3 hrs .. The building is a Chicago landmark .. Like OLA it was built around the turn of the 20th century 1905 I believe .. From the 20th floor of my hi rise south loop dwelling / office this building looked hauntingly similar in it's construction in that the roof did collapse from the intense heat as this fire progressed ..
I watched from above unable to conduct my business or do anything but reflect in horror as many whom actually witnessed the OLA fire whom wished they had'nt ? The victims whom escaped all of whom injured with emotional psychological disorders and to many physically scarred ..
Funny how human nature makes you stay and makes you not turn away ? Only to continue watching while it traumatizes you as the tragedy unfolds ..
That same greyish color at first for only a few minutes at most then changing to that same thick black billowing horror from years of paint oil tar shellac as was the OLA fire now suddenly in moments huge flames shooting up from the 2nd floor windows and roof of this landmark structure along with this disgusting smoke ..
Reflecting back 56 yrs in a heart beat .. I could see the smoke from our 2nd story apt on Superior st hearing the sirens up and down Chicago ave coming and going from OLA.. Then north went the ambulances on to Lavergne st north to St Annes only blocks away .. Many people running down Chicago ave east bound to the fire scene only to later regret they had ..
The survivors from this day including myself ( I feel like a survivor traumatized ) became classmates for app 1.5 yrs after the fire.. At our school Our Lady Help of Christians ( HOC ) whereas we were forbidden to interact with our new classmates while they arrived by CTA buses for their afternoon classes .. We were cleared away at noon for this purpose..
To all of you ? For some in later years ( OLA victims /survivors )that I met whom also found it weird and strange to not interact wih us HOC students at all ? I am appalled and apologise for the BVM's ( order of nun's) at HOC and OLA along with the arch diocese for your having been treated ( I felt ) as "Lepers" ? This by your transitional community ! HOC was only app 1/2 mile west of OLA .. I did get to meet some of you however in spite of this outrage !
This day haunts like no other for the past 56yrs for me .. This fire today at this Firehouse restaurant had that same look without the obvious loss of human life and the serious physical and psychological trauma for many of us as far away as across the world ! No one hurt in this fire today thank almighty GOD moreover no fatalities .. However up close as I was today ? I could see where no one stood any chance once this fire took hold ? So fast and intense !
If this were a school ? Same 2nd story windows with black billowing smoke and flames with seconds instead of minutes between the time that smoke turned grey to black just like OLA.. Then some few minutes after the thick ugly black smoke I saw some flames break through the roof the firemen pouring water from the snorkels and they got there on time ! Then the roof collapses it "flashed over" like a review of the OLA fire without the haunting nite mare ending.. Shocking ! Early plans is to restore this landmark structure .. May God Bless all of you !