My Aunt M, who turns 83 on Saturday, has been going through a rough patch for a while. Wednesday, it just got a lot worse. She seems to be carrying the "Job complex" for the family currently.
The enlarged family was to meet at her house, since she is pretty much housebound, to hold a brothers/sisters and miscellaneous adult children get-together. My sister LH, who is spending ten days in the sunny south to toast the winter blues away, was to be part of the bash.
But instead of meeting for lunch, M and her oldest daughter G (whom a neighbor dubbed a hero and plans to make a medal for) had a very close call. G had quit her job and moved into the back bedroom to take care of her mother. Her husband rotates between their house a few blocks away and staying at Aunt M's. The night of the fire was one where he was home.