Sunday, December 7, 2008

Oh the irony

As many of you know, I had a small fire at my house today. How ironic, I was a firefighter for 15 years and MY residence catches fire. I was downstairs wrapping Christmas presents and suddenly smelled something burning, from my years in fire and rescue, I knew it was electrical. I went to investigate. My first thought was the dishwasher, I've had plastic sippy cup tops and straws fall on the heating element before and the smell was similar, but I could tell from the intensity of the smell that the dishwasher wasn't it. I went upstairs and started snooping around, feeling walls, checking electrical outlets with my extinguisher in hand, ready to defend my home. I knew I should just call 911 and get out, but the firefighter in me resisted the urge and I continued my frantic search. Then I saw smoke, OK, NOW I'm scared to death. Actual smoke, not just a little, but quite a bit, filling the upstairs. I picked up my son and the phone, dialed 911 and went outside, grabbing our coats on the way out the door. I'm on the phone with dispatch while zipping up our coats and Nic is NOT happy about being out in the cold, especially since he was just having all kinds of fun helping Mommy wrap presents. So I have a crying three year old in one ear and dispatch in the other. I'm watching him, checking out the eves to see if there is any evidence of smoke coming out and giving directions to dispatch. I'm thinking okay, no smoke evident from sides 1, 2 and 4...Man I'm an old school firefighter, now they identify structures by sides A, B, C and D. Anyhow, I digress. The fire department shows up pretty quickly and gets to work. I was SOOOOO happy to see they had a thermal imager and I could tell they were surprised when they jumped out of the truck and I said, "OH YEA!! A Thermal Imager!" This means they won't have to tear down walls and look for heat. After investigating they discovered a small fire in my furnace downstairs. The motor burned up, the smoke went through the ducts upstairs and that's where all the smoke upstairs came from. They put the fire out and gave me the sad news that I would have no heat, but the really GREAT news is that it didn't happen at 2 a.m. when Nic and I were sleeping and it may have gone unnoticed long enough to completely burn our house down or...I don't even want to think about what else could have happened. And...it didn't happen while we were out of town Friday and Saturday. It happened while we were awake and able to do something about it quickly before our house burned down. Want to know something that really makes me think? Before I went out of town this weekend I had a weird, worried kind of feeling specifically about the house and so I actually stopped what I was doing before I walked out the door and said a quick prayer for God to watch over our house and keep it safe while we were gone.

Don't worry about us being cold, we were able to find a heating and air conditioning guy who came and fixed it for us tonight, so by 8:30, we had heat again! I am so thankful to all of you who called, texted and sent notes on Twitter and Facebook concerned and offering to help. My neighbor was wonderful enough to keep Nic in her house so he wouldn't be cold while I was outside talking to the firefighters and the Fire Marshall.

WOW...that was a close one. I am so thankful that things were not worse when they so easily could have been. God was definitely looking out for us and I praise Him and thank Him for his many blessings. One extra thing to be thankful for this holiday season. I still have a beautiful little boy and a home...wait, that's two extra things.

7 comments:

Betty said...

Oh my! How scary! Yes thank goodness it happened when you were awake and able to get right on it. I am so thankful you two are ok! God is great!

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ELLIE said...

I am so thrilled you are alright and no one was hurt and it was a water heater and not part of the structure....I am sorry you had to go through all that - but relieved that all things are good now!!
Praise God for you and Nic being safe and all is well at home---take care!!
Ellie

Donna said...

Thanks, ladies! It was the motor in the furnace, not the water heater. The whole house smells of smoke now because the smoke got into the ducts and went through the house, but we can deal with that. I have an Ionic Breeze air purifier and that thing has worked wonders....that and the gallon of Febreeze I'm going through :-)

Dr. Cash said...

Jon didn't tell me until this morning (Leslie and I were out at Blake Edwards' viewing last night). I'm so glad you and Nic are okay! Do you need me to drop some Febreeze by today? ;) What an ordeal.

Mandy @ Adventures of a Millennium Mom said...

That is so scary! Thank goodness y'all are okay!

Chelle said...

I am so happy you both are okay! How scary--and thank goodness for your experience with fires!

Alyssa said...

Goodness! Thank God ya'll are okay, I would have been freaking out also!! God is amazing if you put all your trust in him isn't he?