She lost everything

Those flames are shooting out of what was once my kitchen
Exactly one week after I moved out of my Atlanta apartment and drove to another state with all my belongings, the woman who took over my lease called me. She had lost all her everything in a massive fire that morning. The apartment was in an old house--which burned to the ground.

I didn't really believe her. I thought she was exaggerating. Until I spoke to my former landlord and saw a video posted online by one of the Atlanta TV stations. Flames could be seen shooting out of my kitchen window. There were shots of dazed tenants standing in the street watching firefighters snuff the smoldering remains. 

The fire started directly below where I used to sleep. Would I have been awake at six in the morning when it started? The woman who took my spot just happened to be awake at that early hour and got out before the blaze took everything she had—except for what she had in her hands.

If I had stayed another week in Atlanta, what would I have picked up as I rushed out of the house? And if I had been there and not woke up when smoke filled the apartment—was I ready for the end of my life?

Stephen Goforth