Quoting the SandCastle Queen calling me at $DayJob.
There were 10 fire engines* blocking all access to the street. Not to mention the 5" water line crossing the driveway that she probably couldn't have driven over. May as well been a Jersey Barrier at the end of our driveway.
Me: I'll pick up the SCSon from school.
The "excitement" stemmed from a propane BBQ accident a few doors down the street. Fortunately no one and no pets were physically hurt. Rumor has it the cook stepped into the kitchen and heard a Ka-Whump, BAM! Apparently the "BAM" was the propane take hitting the wall following the "explosion".
Before it was over the windows on the back of the house are blown out and $LocalFD opened up all the walls on that side of the house to ensure no lingering embers. Damage to the house is probably $50-75K, and probably 2-3 months reconstruction. This is why we all buy fire insurance.
The street was still blocked by fire engines 30 minutes later attempting to drop off the SCSon. He got to walk the last 1/8th mile and was happy to do so.
If you have a propane BBQ (and who doesn't?), take a moment to squirt down the tank hose connection and hose with soapy water solution and look for bubbles! The SandCastle BBQ is on a wooden deck just off the kitchen. You can bet we will check before next use!
Update 02Aug: I brought this up as an item for consideration to my circle of co-workers as I with this post. One asked "Does the BBQ sit out in the sun?" I do not know but "yes.. a BBQ on the back patio would have southern exposure and thus maximum UV exposure. And UV and Rubber do not play nice together! He then related his Father's BBQ had some ornate additions that blocked the gas line from direct sun in such situations... and pondered.... maybe that's not just for good looks! [Hmm.. disclaimer...rampant speculation follows... I am not an expert but I've had sun cooked tires fail...] Perhaps the sun exposure accelerated the decline of the gas line. Hmmm.. good point!
* 10 fire engines may seem excessive for a simple house fire where you live, but given the 100+F air temps plus the heavy safety gear they wear, they have to rotate firefighters in on a short rotation.