By BRADY DENNIS, Times Staff Writer
Published September 7, 2005
NEW ORLEANS - "Jimmy," he said to his friend on the bicycle, "that house on the corner, that's where they lived."
It was just after 7 a.m. Tuesday at Camp and St. Mary streets. Jude Glynn, 62, stood in his red bandanna, sweat-stained T-shirt and dirty blue jeans, an unshaven man with a stutter and tears in his eyes.
"Th, th, that building there. My girlfriend and her daughter lived there," he said. "When they come back, they ain't gonna have s---, man. This makes you want to think if there really is a God up there."
Jimmy just listened, nodding.
The fire had started in one apartment building and spread to the next. The flames rose 30 feet into the blue dawn, with nobody around to care except a few curious neighbors who ventured from their homes.
After a while, soldiers in camouflage showed up with Humvees and machine guns to knock on doors and make sure nobody got too close. Firefighters arrived with a tanker truck of water to keep the fire from spreading. The buildings burned to ashes.
Jude watched it all unfold. "Even if I was able to call them, I don't think I'd have the heart to tell them," he said. Jimmy rode away.