Sunday, June 2, 2013

A Firey End

Today didn't start out as I'd planned. Being the first day of my summer time off from teaching, I hoped to just relax and do nothing but fate had other plans. Today, I watched a house burn to the ground. We had a terrible storm strike around 5:00 AM. The wind noise alone made me think tornado. I woke off and on but crawled out of bed around 6:45 to feed the new kitten. That's when I became aware of a different noise.

Fire engines. I think there were four fire engines, two ambulances and two police cars blocking the cul-de-sac that tees into the street I live on, in fact, joins right at my house. Four houses down, a fire blazed, shooting into the sky at least 8 feet above the roof line.

I hurried to dress, slapped food on the cat's plate and dashed out the door. Another neighbor met me outside and gave me what details she knew. I was relieved it wasn't our rental but I was saddened to discover it was the home of my son's best friend. When I saw our renter outside, I walked down the street to visit with him and to make sure the house was not in danger, all the while, consciencious of the many workers trying to control the blaze.

My husband arrived home from a weekend at the lake as he's kind of the neighborhood caretaker. Whenever there's a problem, they call on DH and today was no exception. His phone lit up about 7:00 AM and the news brought him home an hour later. He called the folks that own the home as they were on vacation and from that moment on, he relayed information to them.

Those tireless firefighters were incredible. They worked on that house until about 11:00 AM. They intended to leave as there were two other major fires in town but just when they thought it was all under control, the fire started again. They stayed until well after noon and then came back three more times to check to make sure it was out for good. Needless to say, the family lost everything.

What caused the fire? The wind was so high, it broke a tree limb that fell and caught the power line. It broke the weather vein and shorted out the main line to the breaker box.

The experience, though, has taught me many things, things I already knew but didn't take as seriously as I should have.

  1. I need to do a serious inventory of my house and place it somewhere safe like a safe deposit box.
  2. I need to clean, to weed out unecessary stuff. The fire fighters can't do their job properly if they can't navigate through each portion of the house.
  3. I need to contact my insurance agent soon to make sure we have enough coverage.
  4. We have a date with the tree trimmers to eliminate the potential for breaking limbs.
  5. I plan to find a spot in the house for extra keys to vehicles that can be easily reached in the event vehicles need to be moved.
  6. I plan to make a copy of digital pictures and place it in the safe deposit box
  7. I plan to review my evacuation plan.
  8. I plan to unplug all unecessary electrical objects.
I'm sure I'll think of more as I mull things over but ...

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