Sunday, December 13, 2009

Burnin' Down The House

Last night we had a very tiny chimney fire.

It was a big to do and rattled everyone.

It was the first time in my life I've ever called 911.

Things happen fast and yet not as fast as you think they will.

Fire is loud. It's not a sound I'll easily forget. Just like you instantly know the sound of a tornado, you know the sound of fire. Now I know them both.

I was surprised that 911 rings a few times before someone answers. And I was surprised at how long it took for the fire trucks to arrive, even though at least 2 911 calls were placed.

In reality, they came very quickly.

We have very little damage.

The family as a group is a little on edge. There will be some processing taking place to be sure.

But the point of this is to say the obvious.

Have a plan.

Our fire was tiny and did little damage because we knew what to do.

We've practiced our fire drills, we have a fire extinguisher. We replace our smoke detector batteries every time we change the clocks.

Doing those things helped.

Doing practice drills helped. Not so much for the kids, but for us grown ups. Our bodies knew the pattern even though our minds were racing.

So this morning, I'm thinking you should do the things you know you're supposed to do. Change the batteries every 6 months. Have a fire extinguisher handy. Have a plan and practice it.

You never know when it will be your turn.

This morning we're counting our blessings. A thick blanket of snow helped keep our house from burning down. The slush raining down from the sky helped put the flames out. All our neighbors came out to help.

I'm thankful for dirty carpets and my stuff that smells smoky. I'm thankful for the super icy side walks that will be a problem all winter simply because the fire hydrant is in front of my house. I'm thankful that my front lawn is littered with the contents of my fire place and parts of my chimney. I'm thankful for the wall I'm going to have to spackle again.

I'm thankful for all my healthy, freaked out kids that couldn't go back to sleep. I'm thankful for today's tantrums and fears and tears.

On this very dreary, cold, yucky winter day, things over here are looking pretty bright.


Anonymous said...

Jen - Here in Baraboo I'm taking this moment to thank God for protecting you and your family. Then I'm checking the batteries in our smoke alarms....

Steph Seefeldt

Debbie said...

Oh wow - how scary! I remember we had a chimney fire when I was a kid. And it is something you will never forget. I am so glad that you are all okay.
What a blessing! Praise God!