Okay, I slept for the first time in ages last night and ate a meal
for the first time since Saturday. My head is a little clearer. So
let me let ya know what is up...
Still no confirmation on what started the fire. But here is the word
that is going around. Apparantly, the woman who died in the fire had
a long history of violence and schizophrenia. I guess she had violent
attacks on people, including someone who worked for the apartment
complex. I know that the cops had been called on her several times
for various different things. I think she might have been getting
The fire started in her apartment and she died of smoke
inhalation. It's kind of crazy, because we were all standing right in
front of her apartment after I climbed out of the window. I had no idea
that someone was dead in there...
Yeah, I was dicking around on my four-track and had my headset on and
really had no idea what was happening. If someone hadn't been
pounding on my downstairs neighbors door, I wouldn't have noticed
anything. I happened to look up and saw flames pass by my window.
I went to the front door and felt the door knob. Backdraft was
flashing through my mind and since the handle was cold, I opened the
door. Big mistake! I was faced with a solid wall of smoke. It was so
dense I couldn't even see the ground in front of me.
So, I closed the door and for some reason I locked the deadbolt (you
know, like that would keep the fire out. I'm a moron.) I went out on
the balcony and for the first time noticed that 40 or 50 people were
on the sidewalk watching my building burn down. They told me that I
had to jump and that the fire had totally consumed the stairway. For
a split second I thought that maybe I could run through the fire and,
you know, drop and roll or something. Luckily, I came to my senses
and decided to try to climb down. Yes, I did somehow scale down the
side of the building from the third floor and looking back at the
apartment today, that was crazy high. I mean, it was really high.
I managed to make it to the ground in one piece and after standing in
front of the fire looking up like a moron, I joined my neighbors on
the sidewalk as we watched the flames slowly consume my apartment,
even before the fire department arrived.
I wandered around asking if anyone had a cell phone I could use. I
called information who connected me to Vulcan Video which is where I
work. I just told the guy working "Call Jenn! Call Kelly! My house is
on fire! Tell them to get over here ASAP!" They're both pals of mine
and were the first people I thought to call with the crisis happening
and Liberty out of the country.
Thankfully, they showed up, so I at least have a place to stay and
everybody is helping me sort stuff out. The hardest part was that
Liberty's phone number in China burned up in the fire. So all I could
do was go to Kelly's house and send her a brief e-mail. I didn't want
to freak her out, so I was a little vague about what happened and
told her to call as soon as possible.
I basically couldn't sleep at all and just tried to imagine a floor
plan of the apartment to figure out what exactly I had lost. It was
the first time I started to feel overcome by anxiety. Up until then I
was still sort of dealing with everything kind of laughing in the
face of adversity. I mean, I'm like the bad luck guy: heart problems,
house burning, any number of J Church tour disasters. What will
happen next year to make people feel sorry for me?
Anyway, I finally got to talk to Liberty the next night, which seemed
like forever and it led to my second anxiety attack, heart
palpitations and everything.
That sort of brings us up to the present. They started pulling stuff
out of my apartment today. They pulled out a lot of our electronic
stuff (computers, stereo, amps, etc.) but I really doubt any of it works, as a lot of it got burned and all of it got soaked. 99% of my albums
have at least water damage and are now worthless. Almost none of my
singles and 7"s survived. No clothes. No furniture. 300 fucking "Storm
the Tower" 7"s gone. All the label stuff is gone. All my photos and
Cringer and J Church stuff is pretty much gone. Yearbooks. Phone
numbers. Stuff for my now on hiatus book on anarhco punk... Still,
it's a bit of a relief to at least know where I stand. I dunno. I
guess I'm still in denial.
I wanted to thank everyone who has written kind words and offered
help. Really, it's all so overwhelming that I really don't know how
to reply. I really appreciate it and when I checked my e-mail today
there were 100 new messages. I'm sorry that I have to send this
blanket e-mail as I really can't reply to everyone individually.
Everyone is asking how to help and I really don't know how to reply
to that. I'm very flattered that people have offered to do benefits
and send money. But I feel a little weird taking people's money. Here
are the things we are trying to replace if for some strange reason
you have extras:
Records? If you are at a record label and are on my list, I probably
love your label and would love to get whatever promos you've got
I don't know. I still don't know what is going on. I want to assure
everyone that I plan to carry on with the band and the label and
whatever other things I was planning to do. As much as is financially
possible, I'm gonna be working the DFI and J Church records coming
out this fall on Honey Bear...
The main thing that would help would be if you could get the info out
about what happened. I'm still getting people trying to order stuff
and I REALLY don't want people to get any misinformation about what
happened. I mean, TWICE in the last decade there have been rumors
that I died and that created huge problems for me as you can imagine.
Okay, I'll try to have a normal newsletter next time around.
Hopefully, life will start to get back to normal the weekend after
next when I at least move into my new apartment.
Source: Lance Hahn, J Church