Sunday, January 16, 2011

Compassion and Judgment and Self-Identification

Two related topics:

1.  This news story is actually a composite scenario of several very similar events, which have a way of occurring on an annual basis in cities all over the U.S.:
On a night when temperatures dip below freezing, firefighters respond to a multi-alarm blaze at a large apartment complex.  One or more buildings are gutted, with several families being left homeless and without anything beyond the clothes on their backs (and their car, if they're lucky enough to have one); some people die, usually those with limited mobility, including children and the elderly.

Investigators determine that the fire originated with a kerosene heater or a barbecue grill that someone lit inside an apartment to provide heat, after their heat was cut off for non-payment, or perhaps was just inadequate to heat all the rooms.  Whoever lit it fell asleep and then it was knocked over by a child or a pet, and the fire quickly spread along the carpeting, draperies and thin walls between rooms and units.