Last week my husband and I were sleeping when his phone began to ring. I jumped up and ran to get it. I missed the call, but threw the phone at my husband so that he could call whoever it was back. I went to the bathroom expecting to be able to go back to bed immediately. Meanwhile, I heard my husband say, "...at Uncle Bill's? I'll be right there!" He jumped out of bed just as I was returning and threw on some clothes. He immediately told me that his uncles house was on fire and he needed to get there. He pulled out of the garage and ended up following the water truck as it passed our house. The kids were in bed, so I was unable to go with him. Of course, I was unable to go back to sleep because I was so worried about Randy's uncle and distraught over the prospect of my own house burning down. Randy returned around 2am after the firefighters had gotten the fire out. Unfortunately the house was a total loss:( He lived in the county and there were no fire hydrants. Though the fire truck was there within a few minutes, they had to wait for water trucks to bring water to them to put out the fire. The entire house was engulfed in 30 foot flames before they even touched it with water. (There is a fire hydrant right at the corner of our house, thank God!) Pictures my husband took as he arrived at the scene:
Randy left after the firefighters started going into the house and throwing things out onto a tarp that could be salvaged. He said it was the most awful feeling watching people go through his uncles stuff and then throwing it on the ground as if it were nothing. They were just doing their jobs, but it felt so cold and intrusive. Pictures my husband took after the fire was out and right before he left:
We found out later that the firefighters had remained at the fire until around 6:30 am as the embers would reignite and they would have to put out little fires continuously. They determined later that the fire was of an unknown cause, probably a gas grill that was not appropriately hooked up. Immediately the next morning Randy called our insurance company to check on the coverage we had on our home to make sure that it was enough to replace our home and belongings (furniture, clothes, etc.) He was satisfied that we would be covered though there are some things that could never be replaced! Thankfully, his uncle made it out safely because he was awoken by the fire alarms going off in his house. This past weekend, we also bought a fire extinguisher, extra smoke detectors and are looking for a rope ladder to place on the second story of our home where our children sleep. The kids are still really young, so we also discussed our plan of escape which would include going upstairs to retrieve the kids from their rooms. It is scary that we never discussed these things before this incident and that it took something so awful to happen to someone we love to get our act together! I hope that others will also learn from his experience and prepare themselves for the unthinkable!