Thursday, January 25, 2007

Near miss

I'm only now beginning to realize exactly how lucky we are right now. For all the lamenting and cursing on stuff like the dog and the car, we caught a major break last night. The kind you tend to take for granted until you really think about it.

We woke up this morning to find out that The Snack burned down. The Snack is famed throughout Iqaluit, and probably a fair bit of Nunavut, for being the take-out restaurant. It's also your only hope if you want a half decent poutine. Myself and Cathy were also quite fond of their club sandwiches. The Snack also had a reputation many years ago where you could get food with your drug order. Depending on who you want to believe in town, that may or may not be the case anymore. Well, up until last night.

Anyway, up she went last night in what is tentatively being called a fat fire that got out of control.

Here is a picture of The Snack from just before Christmas. It was taken out the window of the lobby on the second floor of our apartment building.

And here's what it looks like as of this morning.

It actually looks worse than that now. All the water used to hose down the building has frozen and collapsed the rest of the building. It's basically just a pile of rubble now.

The thing of it is, we didn't know anything was going on until we heard it on the radio this morning before we left. Our apartment faces away from The Snack, so we didn't see or hear anything. Well, not completely true. We heard a siren go off for a few minutes around 1:30 a.m. However, there was snow clearing going on in town last night and we thought perhaps the siren was involved with that for some reason.

It was 1:30 and we were tired. It's fuzzy logic so give us a break. Oh, that siren? Turns out one of my co-workers is a volunteer firefighter. The siren was telling the firefighters inside the building to get out because the roof was collapsing. They all got out, barely. No one was hurt in the fire.

No, the big break for us last night was that it was calm. There have been precious few of those days and nights in the past three weeks. The wind has been up, which accounts for the windchill being what it's been. And there is a blizzard in the forecast for this evening and tomorrow. So last night having no wind was a small miracle.

Because across the street were houses and given their current state, I suspect it wouldn't have taken much for them to go up. To the right of the Snack (if you were facing it) are a small furniture store and a convenience store. Behind it is Arctic Ventures, one of the big stores in town. And to the left is our apartment building.

So really, a strong easterly wind last night and I might be writing a different blog entry today. I'm still debating what might have happened if the car had been in its usual spot. You can tell from the first picture that it would have been parked awfully close to the building. I didn't notice any damage to the railing where we normally plug it in, but who knows. If the car had been there, maybe something would have happened. Again, I'll let others debate if that would be a good thing or not.

We have tenants insurance for up to $30,000, which sounds like lots until you start to look around and realize how much stuff we have crammed in here. Clothes, food, books, electronics...I wonder if $30,000 would cover it all? That's not bragging, by the way. Just the simple realization that you take so much stuff for granted that you don't think of how much it would cost to replace it if you had to, especially everything all at once.

So bad karma on the dog and car; good karma on the wind last night. It all tends to balance out in the end.


Steve said...

Jeez Townie. You are a lucky bastard!

When people call me lucky, I always say there are two kinds of luck. You got them both!

Simon said...


And that place was my very favourite source for $30 personal pan pizzas anywhere.

colette said...

Just think what the loss will do for your diet more poutine singing its siren song and seductively beckoning from across the street!