Explosion Strikes North East D.C.

Last night something exploded behind Soung and David’s house at around 12:45 a.m. I heard the sound through my toothbrushing and thought that it was a door slamming and someone had just entered through the back door. I knew Soung was out of town. And David was working for another hour. The dogs were barking, wildly. I ran downstairs to see what was the matter, when another explosion went off. This time, there was no mistaking it. Flashbacks of that day in New York City came to me. I went into instant panic mode. And then I saw the flames. At first, I thought a house had exploded. Actually, every rubber-necker thought that. And instead of calling 911, I called Toby. Because, I mean, of course he’d be able to do something in North East Washington, D.C. while in San Francisco. Of course. He starts yelling at me to call 911.

As I stood there and contemplated the insanity of this mess and watched the flames shoot out above the house behind Soung’s, a man in a suit ran by the back porch. The flames were huge. The entire street lit up orange and red. I thought I even felt the heat. The running man looked at me standing there and screamed “CALL 911!!! A HOUSE IS ON FIRE! CALL 911!!!!”

I hung up on Toby – without even saying goodbye – and I called 911.

911, what’s your emergency?

Yes, there seems to have been an explosion. There is a lot of fire.

The operator interrupts me.

Is this near 16th street?


We have someone already on their way.

I hung up.

As I’m tried to calm down three VERY freaked out dogs, I heard a third explosion. And then more flames. I called Toby back.

He told me to lock all the doors just incase there was a meth lab. If something like that had happened, then there was a good chance I might have some drug dealers running lose through the neighborhood. He also suggested that it might be a bomb and that whoever set the fire or set it off might still be around. So I locked everything and sat there watching from a window.

The trucks showed up. The cops showed up. And neighbors began pouring out of their houses. There were kids, and grandparents, teenagers and moms and dads. I decided it would be safe to go outside to see what was going on. (Curiosity got the best of me. What can I say.)

As I rounded the corner, around towards the back of the house, I crossed the street to get a better look of what was burning without having to get too close. I saw it was a car.

The car was nearly pulverized. It was ghostly white and had smoke pouring out of it. I decided to let the men and women of law enforcement do their jobs and walked back to the house.

I still have no idea what happened last night. I watched the clean-up from the back porch as I gabbed on the phone with an internet rock-star (who I met very briefly years ago while living in Brooklyn.) She’s an awesome chick. And by way of my leaving one small post on another Web site about my fear of things exploding, and then an email exchange, my phone was ringing at 1:30 a.m. We talked into the wee hours of the night about how we fled from New York after September 11th and how we’ll never get over that. We talked about upcoming marriages and future labor pains. We talked about meeting up someday soon – in Ohio. I remade a new friend.

The cops were there until two a.m. and then at around 3 the flat-bead tow truck showed up to remove the remains.

I’m curious how it is a car comes to explode three times in the middle of a sleepy neighborhood.


  1. Those probably were the tires exploding. I have seen and heard this many times here in Detroit. I shot some video of a van on fire once when one of the tires exploded. I jumped when it went off and turned off the camera. I panicked and shut the camera off thinking that I was watching this all on the camera’s LCD screen and not really standing a 100 feet from an angry fiery van. Car fires are very dramatic with all the rubber and plastic and such burning up and stinking the air so. Ahh, urban living at its best. I love the smell of a burning cars in the morning.


  2. MacGyver is so fired.


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