Monday, December 28, 2009

A night of terror



Okay I'll admit it again as I did a couple years ago on the floor of Amherst Town Meeting: The only opponent I have ever engaged over the course of my entire combative life that still haunts me to this day--over twenty years later--is FIRE.

I can still taste the smoke, hear the crackle of the beast as it consumed the formerly safe walls of my world and vividly recall the loud flashover explosion that momentarily froze the combatants on both sides.

The conflagration that destroyed my apartment on the morning of Friday the 13th in the winter of 1987 consumed no souls. And, it was an accident.

Unlike the terror attack this past weekend in Northampton with multiple homes and cars torched in the dead of night, resulting in the murder of two innocent people. Like the cowardly terror attacks of 9/11, this too is an act of war.
A closed off crime scene.
Union Street: just around the block




16 comments:

Anonymous said...

life in prison. no question. life in prison.

-tom

Anonymous said...

Looks like a good time for Hampshire County to get over its deep distrust for law enforcement.

Anonymous said...

Also looks like a time perhaps for Amherst to consider its long lack of support for an adequate number of full time firefighters on duty. If this terrorist(s) had decided to come across the river, the consequences could have been even more tragic. On a Saturday night in Amherst there would have been half the number of on-duty fire-fighters available. With a typical Saturday night of 2-4 ambulances simutaneously engaged there would have been anywhere from 0 to 5 firefighters available for an intial response. In other words not even enough to contain the fire on the very first call. Also once Amherst committed an engine company and a ladder company to Northampton, that reduced the on duty crew available in Amherst to 0. What would have happenned if this terrorist had decided to drive across the river on that early Sunday morning?

Anonymous said...

God it's times like these that make me glad town meeting members didn't cave in to the alternate world perspectives of Amherst's prozac sucking anarchist freak-a-zoids and invite Gitmo terrorists to live in town...

Phewww. Thanks Larry et al.!

LarryK4 said...

Town Meeting invited folks CLEARED of the charges of terrorism to live in town.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:20 AM raises a good question:

Just how many fire fighters and how much fire equipment was available over here in Amherst at the height of the crisis in Northampton on Sunday morning? Nothing in that question is intended to cast aspersions on our cooperative relationship with area towns.

Perhaps someone will ask about this particular real-life situation at next spring's Town Meeting when the usual la-dee-dah skeptics (e.g. long-time unchallenged oligarch Kenton Tharp) begin bringing their perennial amendments to cut the public safety budget below the Finance Committee's usual conservative recommendation.

The issue of readiness is there every spring, attended to by some and ignored blissfully by others, and those latter blithe spirits are overrepresented in Town Meeting, reelected year after year by their slumbering constituents.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, I'm assuming the perp was either on a mountain bike or had co-conspirators; so what if he/they decided to make that 7 mile trek over to Amherst that night and repeat the pernicious process?

(Once again, I will lose sleep tonight contemplating that scenario.)

Anonymous said...

OFf duty personnell came into work in Amherst to man additional engines and ambualnces to cover the town of Amherst, so the town was covered adaquatley. Unfortuantly no city or town is staffed enough to handle 9 fires occurring at the same times. Kudos to all fire depts involved.

Anonymous said...

You're absolutely right: this is an attack. Someone (and it almost has to be an individual) is waging war on the town of Northampton.

Let's hope nobody else is harmed by this evil person.

Anonymous said...

"Town Meeting invited folks CLEARED of the charges of terrorism to live in town."


So if something happens you and they can blame someone else???


The sane people of this town will know who to hold responsible.

Count on it.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, something like that.

If you can't trust Federal, State and local officials to understand/respect the meaning of the word "cleared" then were pretty screwed anyway.

Of course after the Christmas day Detroit airline incident where disaster was averted only by luck, I'm starting to wonder.

Anonymous said...

Larry, start by really giving a fck, will you please? It's obvious who's in it for Amherst and who's in it for other reasons.

I.e. also supports asking people who can barely make ends meet to give bread money back so the town can piss it away on what ever the next abomination will be...

How dare you.

LarryK4 said...

I dare, therefore I am.

Anonymous said...

Amherst born and bred.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah and as some are sick of hearing, five generations now.

Taylor said...

Of course no department could handle nearly dozen simutaneous calls. I think the point was on a typical Saturday night in Amherst the call volume is such that there would not be a large enough available on duty staff to respond and contain even one fire.