Mies with Fried Egg

Step 4 of 6

A pleasant surprise?

Lucky doll intact

Lucky doll intact

As soon as the fire was extinguished and the apartment was deemed safe, Anna and Guido could see for the first time that a lot of their stuff was still there, exactly in the same place as it had always been. This lucky doll, for instance, was still hanging on the door handle, and even the books were still on the shelves. It was just one of those things that was very hard to grasp considering the video clips of the raging fire that were circulating on social media. Seeing their stuff in the same place could be seen as a pleasant surprise, but the fact of the matter was that it made the journey ahead very confusing.

Fried Egg was in the room that had completely turned to ash. The rest of the apartment, although not burned to the ground, had become completely and utterly uninhabitable, and all the stuff had become unusable. The heat and the smoke had destroyed everything. The heat - as Guido explained to me the day after the fire (he is, after all, a science teacher) - had made everything greasy and sticky. Nothing in the entire apartment had been able to escape the smoke. The smell of that smoke is indescribable. The inspectors, each one of them with many years of experience under their belt, had never ever experienced an apartment that was so horribly penetrated by smoke.

That day of the fire, and the days that followed, different kinds of professionals would convince Anna and Guido that only a handful of stuff was salvageable, and that the rest had to be thrown away.