Mies with Fried Egg

Step 2 of 6

"Everything is gone."

A big fire took away everything. It used this window as a way to spread. This video clip ("Holy shit. There's also stuff coming down.") was amongst the many messages that worried friends sent to me and my husband around 11 o’clock in the morning of February 28.Het AD headline “Very Big Fire in the Ampèrestraat in The Hague Put Out: Three Houses Inhabitable.” They wanted to know if we were okay. Yes, we were fine, but their question was not that unusual.

One hour earlier - the church bells of the Agneskerk in the Beeklaan were chiming - we heard the first sounds of sirens of a fire truck. Many followed, and they were not far from us. "They are heading to the Ampèrestraat", my husband said. I heard some concern in his voice. We had lived on that street for eight years. A few months back, the lady across the street where we live today had felt the need to share with the buyers of our old apartment that the Ampèrestraat "is nothing but hell on earth." Those buyers were our dear friends, Anna and Guido. Just like us, the two were thrilled to be able to buy their very first home in the Ampère. Spacious rooms with high ceilings, and a big bedroom for little Mies. It was in this very street where the fire trucks came to a halt to stop the spreading fire.

I immediately felt the need to tell myself how unlikely it was that their house would catch on fire. On the other hand, it could happen to anyone, them included. So, at 10:08 am I sent a message to our WhatsApp group: "Fire in your street. Everything OK?" At 10:17 Guido replied: "Everything is gone. Fire at the downstairs neighbor.” Following that, after a "Jesus Christ." from our side, Anna wrote: "We are okay. We also managed to get our neighbors out of their houses."

Pfew, they're safe. But everything is gone.