Fire! Not something I ever expected to happen to my house but that’s what happened exactly two weeks ago today.
When my husband and I arrived home from work my daughter was in the process of cutting veggies for her dinner. Hubby grabbed a beer and I got a glass of wine and we headed out to the deck to relax away from the sounds of my daughter chopping.
We had only been outside for about two minutes when hubby said, “She’s burning the house down in there!” I turned my head and smoke was billowing out the patio door. We jumped up and ran inside and were horrorfied. My daughter had put a pot of oil on the stove to heat and went back to chopping veggies. Needles to say it caught fire. I looked for a cover to put on the pot but not finding one I grabbed another pot and tried to snuff out the flames. Since it was not a tight fit the oil continued to burn. I told my husband to grab the baking soda but, being a man who is not familiar with baking, he couldn’t quickly locate it. When I removed the pot my daughter did the unthinkable – she poured water on the flames! At this point the microwave was melting and the cupboards near the burning pot were turning black. My thought process was to get the pot away from the wood cabinets before they caught on fire. So I grabbed the burning pot and took it to the patio. I could smell my hair burning and knew my face was burned. My husband couldn’t find the baking soda but grabbed baking powder instead. I told him to put it on the flames anyway. It worked.
We went inside to survey the damage. The house was filled with smoke. I went to the bathroom and luckily my hair was just badly singed and my face only a little red. No one seriously injured. The house on the other hand is.
The disaster clean up crew got to work the night of the fire and are still at it.
The actual fire only damaged one cabinet, the microwave, range and counter. The smoke damage is more disastrous as the fire itself. Every item and object in the house is cleaned, down to the last pencil, by the disaster workers. Every item is put on an inventory list, even down to a stick of butter and a chicken drumstick in the fridge. Our central air ducts have to be sealed by HVAC pros. All the walls and ceilings on my main level and upstairs have to be cleaned, sealed and repainted. All carpets, the sofa/love seat, and mattresses/pillows need to be replaced. We lost all the food in the fridge/freezer plus all food in the cupboard that were in boxes or plastic. I also lost an entire collection of spices. Luckily we have full replacement value insurance.
The insurance company is providing a condo for us to stay in but I just want to go home. It will be at least three more weeks before the house is livable.
Below I’ve included a video that you MUST watch. It’s very short… but it shows what can happen if you put water on a kitchen grease fire. I was so very lucky!
My wonderful daughter… today you board your flight to Bali, Indonesia. You have made the decision to go abroad to volunteer with those less fortunate than you. There are few things more noble and rewarding in this life. I would be lying if I said I won’t worry about you because I will. I am so proud of you for being strong and independent, for working hard for what you want in life. Go be amazing, be brave, be bold, be courageous, be adventurous because you are meant to discover, to learn, to experience it all. On a practical note, don’t do stupid things over there. Everything you do has some sort of consequence. Please understand that even though you are 19, you are still very young and inexperienced in many things so think twice before doing anything—come to think of it, think three times to be safe. Everyone gets duped at some time or another. Please be careful. Be aware of people who might take advantage of you because they have some personal hidden agenda. Be safe. Have Fun. And remember, I love you.
How many conversations pass you by because of your phone? We live in a world where friends, loved ones can sit side-by-side and never talk at all. And when we do talk, we show the phone and say, “Did you see this?” I am beginning to hate my phone and my husband’s phone. During commercials we used to talk, now he picks up his phone, checking for the latest update. My daughter texts me from her room instead of coming downstairs. It’s a mad, mad world we live in.
You worked so hard to provide for us when we were small and along the way you taught us life-long skills and how to follow our dreams. I am grateful my children have the opportunity to hang out and learn from the wisdom of your years… your love of the environment and building things. I love you dad. Have a wonderful day with the children and grand-children who are blessed to be there with you today.