Colorado Springs recently had a fire. Some friends of ours live there, on the west side. Their apartment building did not burn down. They took us for a little drive around the neighborhood. What struck me was how grateful people were towards the firefighters and police. Everywhere left standing seemed to have a sign, either handmade or professionally done, thanking firefighters and police. If you click to enlarge this first picture, there's a sign on the right and a sign on the left:
The view from our friends' west side apartment (notice the burned mountainside in the distance):
This street used to be a regular neighborhood with houses:
This also used to be a street full of houses. Now, there is just a stone facade towards the right side of the picture- all that is left:
Probably the most striking thing was one house, alone, untouched amidst a few blocks where everything had burned. It was a bit like the Twilight Zone, like this one house had survived in a bubble of safety. They had a thank you note to firefighters out front. It felt like it was too much to take their picture, though. They were home. They must feel lucky. Or guilty? Amazing.
Also, there were some people rebuilding, fresh wood carefully placed and set out upon charred foundations.