Friday, July 20

A Bit of Excitement

The likes of which I hope we never have again!

I was about to leave the grocery yesterday when my cell phone rang. It was Mr. kenju, who suggested that if I was on my way home, I might want to turn and go the other direction for a while. Our street (a short one with a cul-de-sac on each end) was host to 8 fire trucks and several other vehicles. Apparently, our neighbor's home was on fire, but he didn't know any details. He had tried to leave for an appointment and was turned back by a fireman who wouldn't let him through the area.

Having a car full of groceries, I was determined to get them home and into the refrigerator or freezer. This was the hottest day of the year (98*) so far, and I was not about to lose $100+ worth of food if I could help it. I drove toward home and was met by a sort-of informal roadblock two streets over. I pled my case to the block-ee and he told me to park my car and walk toward home with my perishables. Luckily I had a cooler bag I had filled, so I hoisted it over my shoulder and set out toward home, carrying two more plastic bags in the other hand. It must have been 20-25 pounds worth. I had gone one-half block when he shouted that I could drive home, but to be exceedingly careful and go slowly. I trudged back to the car, cursing under my breath.

As I passed the neighbor's home, I couldn't see fire or smoke, but she was out on the driveway with 8-10 firemen, and 5-6 cat carriers. This woman owns 8 cats. I went home and put my food away and then went to her house to see what had happened. A fan had overheated and caught fire. I don't know if it was a ceiling fan or a floor fan, but she was using it to keep the cats cool. It is a darn good thing she was at home when it happened, although I assume that if she were not home, the fan wouldn't have been on. I know I never leave home with a fan running. She had found all but one of her cats; one ran outside in all the confusion. None of her cats has ever been outdoors, so I can imagine how scared they were, especially the one who escaped. We are hoping that one finds his way back home soon.

She has a lot of smoke damage, and she may not be able to live in her house until they get all that out. She said they might have to replace some sheet rock and flooring. I feel so sorry for her. I've never experienced anything like that, but my grandparent's home burned when my mom was young, so I know how harrowing it can be. I pray that neither you or I ever have to go through anything like that.





21 comments:

Mr. Althouse said...

Unfortunately, it's that time of year. So many lost their homes just recently not far from here in South Lake Tahoe. I'm afraid it's just the beginning although I pray there won't be anymore. It's a tinder box this year... we're not out of the woods yet, not-so-metaphorically speaking.

Michele sent me,

Mike

ET said...

Fire is hell.

Cravey said...

ack.
No way to wrap up a week.
Enjoy your weekend, and I'll put in a word for the kitty finding his way home.
:(

JC

Joy Des Jardins said...

Me too Judy....I pray we never experience it. My heart goes out to your neighbor. I hope you have a good weekend...

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Terrible, Judy...And scary, too! I'm with you my dear...I hope and pray it doesn't happen to you or me or anyone I know and love...Or for that matter, anyone at all! I hope that kitty finds his way home, too! Poor little dear...to be outside for the first time under those circumstances...Not good.

Claude said...

She was lucky that nothing worse happened to herself or the cats. Eight cats!!! That's a lot of work, I would say. Litter, food etc...

Thumper said...

I hope the poor kitty finds his way home. I'm pretty sure that I could lose it all, but as long as everyone, including the cats, made it out I'd be fine with it.

My poor dad had 2 homes burn down to the ground on him when he was a kid. And mostly what he remembers the most are pets that were lost. Everything else was just stuff. He's 80 years old, and he still misses those dogs and hurts because of the way they died.

Yea, sorry for the tangent there...

moon said...

I'm so releived that no one was hurt, let us know if her missing cat shows up Kenju.
When my niece was just a baby,they lived in a 4 story apartment building..a fire started in the lower laundry area,just under my neices room. They were lucky to get out alive..my brotherinlaw saved everyone he could by running back in, but the very top floor a woman died that day. It was just devastating. It was also in the dead of winter..snow up to your waist, and the news papers had photo of my brother in law, all blackened wearing his robe..standing outside in the snow.

Sonia said...

Just terrible, Judy! I fear so much fire and I never, never went out and leave anything on. I hope the little cat finds his way home soon!

rosemary said...

I can't imagine losing my house to a fire. We are living on kindling atthe moment. Luckily we are cleared around the house but.....

And I thought I was bad with 4 inside cats and wanting to bring in a 5th.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

I bet the fire was started by that cat who ran away, using all his talent to escape a home with 7 (!!) siblings.

'B' said...

Morning...

It would have been a terrible thing for the entire house to have been burnt down, I am glad that didn't happen!!

I would have been more than cursing under my breath after being told to walk it up and the getting the call to drive, I would have told him a thing or two...

Here from Michele's this Saturday morning, I wonder how cold it is outside, still in BED!!!

craziequeen said...

My mum used to tell me about when the sheets caught fire when drying in front of an open fire when we were babies......

98deg? It's barely double figures here, and has rained almost solidly for 2 months now here in the UK......

Hi Jusdy [waves] Michele sent me :-)

cq

Kay Dennison said...

Thank you, it's a great fear of mine.

Peter said...

Oh my gawd. I'm with you... I would never leave the house with a fan running. In fact, the closest I came to that was realizing I had left the house with a pot of RICE on the stove....argh!!! I was in a panic until I could get back home and spent three hours trying to clean the damned thing.

Here by way of michele today!

panthergirl said...

OK... that was me. Someone else was using my computer and had logged into his Google account!

~pg

Nancy said...

Judy,

You know what? On Primary Election day this Spring, I was working at the polls and we heard the fire sirens go off and the engines streaked past our polling place. We found out it was a new house on fire, only 10 months old, on a circle near our polling place.
Now here's the dilemma we were in. Most of the people who lived on that circle came in to vote on their way home from work and didn't know about the fire.Only the people directly affected had been called by the fire chief. When the other neighbors came in to vote, we didn't know whether or not to tell them about the fire. Their homes were not directly affected but I am sure they were shocked to get to their street and see all the fire equipment in their circle.
The fire was not at their house and they were not affected at all, so what do you think? Should we have mentioned the fire and got them all excited at the polls or did we do right by letting the fire chief tell them when they reached their street?
I'd appreciate your thoughts.

kenju said...

Nancy, I think they would have appreciated knowing about it in advance. I would want to know that it wasn't MY house on fire. The way my street and the approach to it is configured, it would have been impossible for me to tell which house it was when the fireman stopped me on the next street over. If my husband had not called me in advance, I might have thought it was my house. I would have had a heart or panic attack!!

Nancy said...

Judy,

I appreciate your imput and I think I agree with you now, but at the time it seemed the better part of valor to keep quiet and let the authorities inform the people.
We have a very active voting district and our polls are crowded most of the time after working hours so we couldn't have done any more than tell them. No time to comfort or help them then,and we didn't have much information anyway. I hope there is never a next time, but if there is, I would probably remember your words and let them know as least as much as I did.
Thanks !

sage said...

Glad your neighbor is okay. Losing a house or an apt is terrible as some friends found out last summer when they woke at 3 AM with their house on fire (started in the garage). They got out okay, but had to go to Walmart at 6 AM to get clothes. This is a small town and even their insurance agent was there to help.

Shephard said...

Yikes. So so sad. Crossing my fingers for the kitty. I know what it's like to have a floor fan catch fire. I have never bought one since!

~S