Two weeks ago, we awoke to fire alarms going off throughout our home. As we scrambled out of bed, my husband and I entered the living room to find one of our sofas and wood valance in flames. It's hard to exactly recall what followed. I know that Alex found a phone and dialed 911 while we were both screaming for our children to get out of the house. We tried pouring pots of water on the blaze, but it was too big and too hot to get close enough to make a difference. Thankfully, I thought of the garden hose, quickly grabbed it and dragged it to the doorway and began desperately spraying the flames. The fire was put out before the fire department arrived, but not before significantly damaging the house with its smoke.
Thank God we are all safe. If it weren't for the smoke alarms things could have been very different. I wanted to share our story with you all as a reminder to update and charge the fire alarms in each room of your home, to have a fire escape plan in place, and to own more than one fire extinguisher. We only had one and somehow knew the fire was too large for it.
The kids were shaken up, but coping very well considering the trauma. We are unable to stay in the house for a few months during the recovery and renovation. Since our experience, I've come across many people who have either gone through a fire themselves or know someone who has. We are so blessed that we no one was hurt and that our home had not suffered structural damage.
We believe it may have started from an ember from the fire we enjoyed that evening. We use our fireplace often and do our routine checks before bedtime as we did on that night, but apparently a spark must have flared. We are humbled by the experience, counting our blessings and taking things slower these days. I can't help but think it happened for a reason, and what the reason is, I'm still figuring out.
PLEASE use our experience as a way to open conversations about fire safety with your own family. We most often think it won't happen to "us", but clearly it can and it does. Below are Fire Safety tips from the Red Cross.
I would like to thank our neighbors who took us in in the middle of the night and provided us with warm clothes, blankets and a comfortable place to sleep. You are the best.