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  • It was those seated by the window who noticed first, grey whisps of smoke coming from the windows of the large yacht moored opposite.

    As they stood and watched the boat's occupants desperately clambering off, so too the rest of the office near those now standing started wandering over to the windows to see what was attracting their attention.

    Light grey smoke quickly turned black and presumably toxic, and flames leaping from windows soon followed. The old saying was true, where there was smoke there was fire.

    More rapid than the spread of the fire though was the attention it received from those quickly gathering by the windows. As more people stood staring, some with noses pressed to the glass, this in turn only caused others to join them. While thick smoke swirled past the windows outside, it was morbid curiosity swirling through the office on the inside.

    A man then stood on the marina, having found a small hose began spraying it on the rear of the boat. Rather than commend his actions and attempt to save the boat, the gathered masses were more content making jokes at his expense and the obvious futility of the exercise. When it was pointed out he was merely trying to keep the one remaining rope tethering the boat to the marina wet and from burning through, thus preventing it floating into the 8 lanes of car laden bridge 100 metres away did a collective light bulb go on, "Oh Yeah" was all a few could muster. This one man on the marina had more presence of mind than the hundreds of office workers now watching his valiant efforts.

    Quickly those from the entire opposite side of the building began to edge their way through to get a look at the raging fireball below. The story from the beginning to the present being repeatedly relayed to them as they joined.

    "I wonder at what point the gas cylinders which store the propane for cooking in the Galley will go bang?" was asked out aloud. The silence was deafening. Given the very close proximity to those now rapidly heating gas bottles, a few with front row seats against the windows very discretely stepped backwards as they processed this thought. Pussies.

    The drama unfolded, with the Fire Brigade appearing with a small tinny and pump no bigger than the guy on the Marina. Then a Tug boat that tried to make it's way upstream to the fire, only to get grounded in the shallows with the fire just out of reach of it's water cannon, until the Fire Brigade could finally string together enough hoses from shore to reach the stricken vessel.

    By the time the boat finally sank, most of the observers had long since logged off and gone. What was an amazing sight an hour earlier, had become mundane and almost forgotten about by the time they boarded their trams and trains home.
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