On my way home from the subway, I heard and saw a bunch of fire trucks and ambulances fly past me on 86th Street. That's a usual occurrence in New York. However, what's not usual is when they stop on 1st Avenue a few blocks south of my building. One of the apartments at 86th and 1st had a major fire, and as you can see from the photos I've just uploaded to Flickr, the fire department had to go in via the roof, the windows, and ground level. There's a pet store/groomer in that building, and the proprietors brought out about half a dozen dogs on leashes and a cat in a crate. The fire department also rescued a cat from the building, and I saw a guy, maybe the owner, tending to it as it was laying on the bumper of one of the fire trucks. (I hope the cat is OK -- it was hard to tell but I could see it was breathing. And of course I hope no one was hurt; it didn't look like there were any human casualties.) Once the fire was out, the firemen began removing burned and damaged items from the apartment via the windows. I didn't know this, but they just drop the damaged stuff onto the sidewalk rather than carry it out. It was actually sad to see kids' toys and blankets being tossed out as trash.
I didn't mean to become a sidewalk gawker, but I wasn't alone so I didn't feel guilty about it. Besides, whenever I see fire trucks in my neighborhood, I usually miss all the excitement and see the firemen cleaning up hoses and packing the trucks. At least this time I got to see them in action.