It was just gone 11pm last night, and I’d been asleep for perhaps 1/2 hour. The noise woke me. Totally alien, but loud and getting louder by the second. It was like a jet plane was crashing, or a truck was careering off the road near the beach. I bolted upright and looked out the window on my side, Chris beside me. I think I’d just about realized what I was seeing – a fire – then there was an explosion, and the fireball went up. Still dazed from sleep my mind was slow to register but Chris realized straight away that it was Ray’s Place.
The fire raged. It was after all a giant palapa and the dry wood and palms were quickly devoured by flames. I was shaking, it was a shock and the destruction of someone’s beloved business upset me (especially since we’d met Ray only last week)
We expected the fire department to turn up. But nothing happened. The fire took less than an hour before it had nothing left to fuel itself and it started to quieten down. The onlookers moved away, back to their beds. I struggled to get back to sleep. I was spooked by it all, and then worried that the sparks would ignite the palapa next to us – my mind was on overdrive as I thought through the various elaborate scenarios.
Next morning it seemed strange to look out and see nothing there. And I mean NOTHING! The place was raised to the ground good and proper. The ashes were still smoldering, and the heat was still intense up close. We could see the burst propane tank lying on its side – the cause of the explosion.
So sad, so unbelievable, so frightening.
[These are the BEFORE, DURING and AFTER photos]