As I rode my scooter down Diamond Heights, fire trucks headed up toward my home on Gold Mine Drive. I didn't react. I know few people on our street. Generally everyone is swallowed by their garage on arriving home.
But this day distressed pedestrians pointed to a burning house one row below, and 9 west of my own.
Black smoke billowed over neighboring houses. News helicopters hovered above. One firefighter was dead, and two others were injured, one seriously. A day later he also lost his life.
The injured were from the station on the cul-de-sac a couple blocks away.
I seldom think about the firemen as their trucks pick up speed down Diamond Heights; sirens piercing the afternoon -- or about the danger they've just been in, as the trucks grind their way back up the hill.