Burnin’ the House Down
My husband and I decided to enjoy our first night in our apartment with a rip-roaring fire in our awesome fireplace. He insisted it was okay to go to bed with the flames still going, I said NO WAY. So, we slept on the floor in front of it, woke up, and it was out. I reminded him that it wasn’t okay to clean the ashes out because they are still hot for quite some time after you burn a fire. So, the next morning I hear what sounds like him cleaning the ashes out of the fireplace. (Did I not just tell him it’s not okay to do that!?!) I wasn’t going to interrupt his mantelligence session so I let him go and stayed in bed.
A little while later, I notice a box on the back patio…full of ashes. A cardboard box. (HUH?) Smoke is flying everywhere and I’m thinking it’s just the dry ash flying around because it’s so windy. Not going to say anything and get yelled at…it’s his thing right? A little time goes by and I notice TONS of smoke pouring from the patio. This is no longer ash, but smoke. Hubs forgot the box was out there and discovers the box was now hardly a box at all because the ashes had burned it down. He runs it to the parking lot, pours water on it, and I’m SCREAMING. We now have smoke and a big black mark the size of a soccer ball on our wooden outside wall. THE WALL IS BURNING! We dump tons and tons of water on it, thinking it’s just smoldering…when a flame makes an appearance. I put my hand on the inside wall of our house…and it’s HOT HOT HOT. I call 911.
Now, I’m crying hysterically giving the 911 operator our address, telephone number, etc. and she says everyone needs to get out. By this time, there is smoke now pouring out of our roof. GREAT. All I can think about is all of our belongings I JUST MOVED IN being burned to the ground, destroying our neighbors apartments, and being homeless. A police officer shows up, evacuates everyone from our building, and soon enough about 4 fire trucks come rolling in. The guys jump out in full gear, head to our apartment, rip out our outer wall, douse the flames, and crawl into the attic to make sure all is well. We survived.
For those first few minutes I was terrified. I had never really experienced a fire like that before. When I was younger, we had a wildfire destroy our neighborhood, but our house was one of the ones saved. I was in school at the time so I never really experienced any of it. This fire ended up being pretty minor, minus the money we now have to spend to repair the wall. At the time, it was not humorous at all, but one day we will look back and tell our kids and laugh.
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