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This morning, someone died in a fire in my neighborhood. My heart aches for them and theirs. There have been other fires, all of them terrible and sad too. There are many old houses in my town, and thought we don't know the cause of the fire yet, housing has been on my mind.

I am a renter, been so for around 15 years in the area. I still have big questions:

  • How the hell am I going to afford a house, ever?
  • What if I buy a house that's been flipped, and it burns down months later?
  • How safe is my family in a house that's older than the one in the news?
  • How will my neighbors handle the new August property tax hike?

I am a mess of feelings about this, grateful for those who serve on Gloucester Fire and Police duty. Grateful that it wasn't my space. Horribly sad for those who suffered and are suffering now. Proud that we have a hospital so close and so ready to respond. Scared it may happen to me one day.

What I *do* know is that you never know what's going to happen next. Events like this are a reminder of how fragile, how precious, and how important life is, especially in a community that you love and trust. Not everyone is so lucky.