The neighbors’ Foster Children were playing with matches and threw them over my fence. They set my five acres on fire. It was a four alarm fire. The children lied about setting it. However, the Fire Marshall got the truth out of them. I don’t think the parents know, I know the children set it. I have not heard a word from them. I believe in allowing people their dignity, so I wrote the following letter.
We have had some problems with our mail missing out of our mail box in the past. On the chance that you wrote a letter of apology to us about the fire, your children admitted to setting on our 5 acres, to the Fire Marshall. I wanted to assure you we have not received it. I do not want you to think we are being rude by not acknowledging your apology.
The Fire Marshall interviewed me about your children and your household. I assured him that I felt the children were well cared for. I never hear crying or arguing from the kids. The only sound that filters down to me is the delightful sound of Children’s laughter on occasion. I asked him if you would be billed for the cost of putting the fire out. Which can be done if intent or neglect is an issue. He stated that based on my positive report they would waive sending you a bill. I told him I was pleased that was the case, because I feel you are very conscientious parents.
The Fire Marshall told me Laura was going to have the Children sit down and write me an apology. I was very heartened to hear this. Having raised five children I feel very strongly about children being held responsible for their actions.
We have some loss and damage from the fire. Do you have Home Owners’ Insurance? If you do it would cover the fire. We have three of our majestic Oak Trees damaged. I do not know if they will survive. We can wait and see or if you have insurance we could have a Tree Horticulturist exam them. We also lost a Fiber Glass bench that we bought years ago from an auction. It’s value is about $50. One of our wooden packing crates was damaged as well. All in all we are all very fortunate to have so little loss.
Let me be clear. We are not interested in monetary recovery. I just want you to make the children aware that we suffered some damage because of their actions. Some thought might be given to having them come down and do some chores, weeding, raking or watering the garden, perhaps. Only to teach them accountability. Please know that I would enjoy their company. I so miss having children around. My family all live in the Bay Area.
I look forward to hearing from you about this matter.
Our desire is to be good neighbors.
Mary and Ron