Early in the morning of April 8, 2007 tragedy struck the Black Rock International Burner Hostel. Shortly after 5am, a fire broke out in Fred's main RV which was parked in front of his home. Within minutes the RV was engulfed in flames, and spreading to the second RV parked adjacent in the driveway. Moments later the flames started up the roof of our beloved friends home. Fire and police personnel responded very quickly, and were able to contain the fire before it had spread to the entire house - despite efforts from Fred and a heroic effort by Metric and the hostel guests.
It is five hours later and there are now two hulking, burnt RVs parked in front of the hostel, a fire damaged sedan, and the front of the house has sustained some fire and water damage. The emotional energy is low today. Peeps do not apply. This is only the beginning of a long process of cleaning, disposing of the remains, collecting what may be salvageable from those remains, and the rebuilding that will occur between now and August.
Many of you know and love, Hagey. This is an unprecedented tragedy of the highest magnitude, and all of my sympathies are with him this Easter. Organizational efforts to support this good man and what he has done for our community will begin immediately. Right now, it is just a shock. I can't get the sound of the unspent rounds stored in a cupboard pop, pop, popping in the searing heat of the flames and being completely at the mercy of the fire. Waking up to Fred's cries and alarm this morning will be with me forever.
Please note: those little water hoses coming out of your house and the little fire extinguisher in your kitchen are next to worthless against this type of blaze. Too little, too late. Three large fire tanks were emptied into this blaze.
A follow-up from Tribe, posted earlier today:
Just off the phone with Hagey. After a little bit of browbeating to remind him of all the people he's helped and hosted over the years, and how they'd likely want to return the favor, he said "I'm now willing to accept help, and let's face it, I could use a little."
The need is big, folks: The fires cooked both his RVs, which were stuffed with all the gear used by campers passing through. All those blankets, pillows, sleeping bags, tents used by the Hostel are crispy, charred cinders.
Burners Without Borders already has a paypal account set up, and we would be happy/honored to pass on any donations to Hagey--after all, what could possibly be more without borders than the International Burner Hostel? Hagey ( who hosted volunteers and worked on the BWB Habitat for Humanity project in February ) said he'd be honored and humbled if folks wanted to help in that way.
To donate, go to paypal.com and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. PLEASE MAKE SURE to note that the donation is for Hagey/The Burner Hostel, since we're also raising money for other projects. 100% of all donations received will be passed on to Hagey within the next two weeks, and we'll keep this thread posted on the progress.