Fire on the Hill

What we assumed would be another day at the beach turned out to be the exact opposite. The tropical sun hung high in the azure sky as though it were a yellow yoyo suspended from a length of string connecting it to a fluffy white cloud. From our vantage point on the cliff, Kalapaki Bay offered its unbeatable ocean view. On the walk to the beach, just beyond the Pali Kai security gate closure, Gerald suddenly glanced backward, as if on instinct. Thick plumes of gray-blue smoke appeared to be pouring from the row of seaside cliff houses into the bay directly beyond the Lincoln condo. In an instant, we pivoted on our heels and headed in the direction of the smoke. As far as we knew, some of the cliff houses were not yet occupied for the winter months. This caused concern in our eyes…and dread as to what lie ahead. Passing each place brought relief, followed by curiosity. What was on fire? And where were the fire trucks? Finally, at the end of the road, where the cliff sharply drops off to a lighthouse beacon surrounded by jutting black lava mounds, the plumes of heavy smoke thickened like fog. Down the sandy path banked by tall dry grasses, past the 6th hole of the resort golf course, the sea turned a lush green. Unfortunately today, the sky appeared a hypnotic smoky grey color. As if from the depths of Hell, suffocating smoke plumes intensified like smog. Suddenly, the bleating, looping wail of sirens signaled help was on the way. A city fire truck followed by a reserve water tanker dispensed a crew of experienced firefighters to access the situation and quickly get it under control. In a marginal amount of time they had it sized up, contained, and extinguished. The investigating officer took it from there. 

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