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The Boston Globe

Magazine

Connections

Tale of a Thanksgiving break-in

When a drunken intruder set fire to our living room, one brave neighbor headed off disaster.

IT WAS A LOVELY THANKSGIVING, until the half-naked man made a campfire in our living room. We got the call just after dinner, but before pie. “First of all, I want you to know that the fire is out and the dog is OK,” our friend, a psychotherapist, informed me.

My husband, son, and I made the 10-minute drive home in 5. The cop and firefighter were staring at a 3-foot circle of charred living room floor. They were arguing jurisdiction. “Can’t be breaking and entering,” the cop declared. “The door wasn’t locked.” “Can’t be arson,” said the firefighter. “She says he poured water on it after he woke up.”

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