Saturday, September 8, 2007

More About the Fire

I have gotten so many wonderful comments from all of you on the post of our house fire. Thank you all for your kind thoughts and well wishes. There were also alot of questions, so I thought I'd elaborate a little more. I was asked, "who knocked on the door?" This was a miracle all in itself. Our neighbor across the street and over a little ways heard their dog barking this strange bark. They were watching TV in their bedroom. They got up to see what the dog was barking at and could see an orange glow under their carport. He went outside and saw it was our house.

The fire truck were already on the way when I came out of the house, but it took a little while (seemed like an hour) because it is a volunteer fire dept. It took about 5 minutes, I think. When they arrived, the fire had already spread to the kids side of the house and was melting the siding off the house next door. All the men were out there with a hose trying to keep that house from catching fire. I was amazed at how fast it spread - very scary. You always plan what you'll grab if that were to happen, but there REALLY is not time! There are times when I think, "why didn't you grab that one more thing?" But when I think about it, I made a conscious decision to focus on the boys and making sure they were safe. Cade was SCREAMING and wanted to be picked up, but my arms were full of scrapbooks. I wasn't dropping them at that point, so I made him follow me screaming the whole way. Days later, when I went back to the neighbors to pick those books up, they were so heavy that I could only carry a couple at a time. It was pure adrenaline pumping in the moment. I was trying to stay calm because I didn't want to upset the kids more, but I finally figured that if I couldn't scream now, when could I. I started screaming to my neighbor, making sure she had called 911.

The fire was compounded by the fact that I had just filled up my 30 gallen tank of my truck that night, and the fact that all of Richard's shotgun shells were it the storeroom going off, it was crazy.

Right after they put the fire out, the firemen started bringing things out that they thought we might want. We started stacking things under this neighbor's carport (can you tell that they are very special people to me?) Bryce's friend, Lyle, who has been in posts before, is their son. We love them. They brought out dresser drawers, my charred jewelery box (I found one diamond earing). They found my brand new studded leather Coach purse! Of course, it was ruined, but my wallet was fine. That was very exciting because we both had our credit cards, licenses, and all that stuff you don't want to have to collect again (he got his when he ran back in).

I still get frustrated when the kids come home with a project that they need baby pictures for. The only snapshots I have are some that my mom put together for me. It's a good bit, but every once in a while I can remember a special page in a scrapbook that I worked so hard on. That is very depressing, I just can't focus on it. I had ALOT of scrapbooks that burned. All my honeymoon pictures are gone. To this day, I still have a bad attitude toward scrapbooking. To have spent SO much time doing those great pages only to have them burn up. I don't think I'll ever pick it up again. That's alright. I am thankful that my kids were young enough that I was able to replace some of their photographer's pictures because they still had the negatives. That is a big blessing. Another blow was that anything in the attic was completely destroyed. Richard had a trunk full of all his high school memories. It also had all of his stuff from when he played ball at LSU. That was really sad.

I thing that is funny and frustrating at the same time, is that you constantly look for things that you don't own anymore. It's usually the stupid stuff like a tupperware bowl or a serving tray. I have to sit and think, when did I buy that. Everything is divided in Pre-fire/post-fire.

Anyway, I was asked about the heat detectors. Heat detectors are installed by the people who install security systems. They are connected through the security system, so they are monitored, and the whole house will be screaming if they go off. They are not fool proof, the fire pretty much has to be right by it to set if off, but we have them by the hot water heater, electric boxes, things like that. I would have just put regular smoke detectors in the attic, but they say with all the dust, they will go off for no reason. I will never live in a house again without heat detectors. I even have all of my smoke detectors through the security system as well. I am pretty much a freak about it! Go figure!

Oh well, hope I didn't bore you. I really appreciate all of the kind words that were shared with me. They really helped.


Carey said...

Not even slightly boring...thanks so much for sharing...and educating us.


OMG! How terrible!! I was glued to your post. It wasn't boring at all. You certainly made me think tonight. Also, I have often had the thought of a fire in the back of my mind while SCRAPBOOKING...I always thought "God forbid" all of that work.....
Maybe life is meant for LIVING IT and not Scrapbooking about it. Thanks for sharing.

Brian & Ruth said...

Dear Jennifer:
I can only imagine how much on some days it feels like a bad dream that you'd like to wake up from. I am not a scrapbooker but I am a quilter and to think of all the quilts I've made as well as all the ones still in process, I think it would all but shatter my soul. I cannot say enough how terribly sorry I am for your loss. I really like what David and Amy said "Maybe life is meant for living and not scrapbooking about it!" May you treasure each and every day you have with your boys, looking forward to your daughter!
Many Blessings,

Lori said...

Oh Jennifer, I'm so sorry. I know it would be terribly sad and difficult to lose such things that just can't be replaced.
I appreciate you going into detail, it's a great reminder of what's important and also helps us to know more of you and you're incredible family!
I do often think of house fires (as I shared with you it happened to us when I was little) and I think of where I put things "just in case".
I'm glad that everyone made it out safely.

qUeEn oF tHe cAstLe said...

It's night when my husband is working that I think of who I would grab 1st and how much do I think I could carry out. THANK GOD your family made it out safe. How different would that story be?!? I am a firm believer in the fact that there is a reason for EVERYTHING. GOD is GOOD!!! ~Cynthia

jennifer said...

I left there knowing that we were completely in God's hands. We would have died had he not intervened. It gave me peace to know that if it wasn't our time, he would save us. I am very thankful to have gotten out.

MississippiZen said...

Jennifer... sorry to leave a comment about this but if you will send me an email, I'll make sure that you are set up correctly on Jill's yahoo group (Mission to Macie):)

Margie said...

Jen, I am amazed how you were able to pick up the pieces and move forward. I too would be so upset to loose so many memories especially things that could never be replaced. Thank g-d you all made it out safely. I couldn't imagine the panic and grief you must have felt.

mommy24treasures said...

thank you for sharing. I am just so sorry for your loss. I see your strength and courage.

Chris & Deb said...

Jennifer..thanks for sharing.....there ws no boredom in this post! Even though you are all safe it is still such a huge loss! Just trying to piece together everything for the insurance company! I am so happy that you were all ok though. Have a great week!

Life With All Boys said...

I can't even begin to imagine what that was like for you and your family. All I know is the loss of pictures would be the most upsetting to me. You can buy a new house, new furniture, but those memories are gone forever. I'm sorry for your loss, but thanks for sharing it with us.

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