Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Fire! Stratford blaze licks warehouse

I was at university yesterday morning when I glanced up a TV screen in the passage to see the news that a warehouse in Stratford had caught fire.

‘What!’ I gasped to my classmate, ‘I hope that place is not near our house,’ I said, picturing the house, the people and my valuables (yes, I do have a few!) being destroyed.

It turned out the fire was at this one warehouse on Waterden Road, right at the Olympics site in Stratford, close to our house – but nowhere near enough to destroy it. At the time the story broke it appeared, according to news reports, that it may have been started by terrorists. Why terrorists would chose to blow up an empty warehouse may baffle some. But then again, this presumably empty warehouse is significantly located on the Olympics site.

‘It’s quite serious,’ I heard a man behind me say, ‘you can actually see the smoke from here in North London.’

‘Of course not,’ I said rather shakily, ‘it can’t be that bad. Surely, you can’t see a bit of smoke in East London from up here in North London.’

My friend indicated I was implying that the man was a liar. So I tried to make light of it and went away.

But it has occurred to me how hard it must be to be busy in a lecture at school or getting on with your job, only to turn on the telly and see your home up in smoke because it has probably been blown up by terrorists.

Yet some people go through this almost everyday. Is this what we’ll experience during the Olympics?

But as the day wore on, the police said the fire was not being treated as a terrorist incident.

By the time I got to Stratford in the evening, there was no sign of a breaking-news-fire. No, not even a whiff of the smoke that could be seen for miles across North London skies.

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