OUR HOUSE FIRE
“Come and see what God has done, how awesome His works in man’s behalf.”
On Friday May 10th, about five years ago, at about 10 p.m., Steve and I were relaxing in our living room when I began to periodically smell something burning. I tried to find the source of the smoky odor but to no avail. Suddenly I heard little electrical arcing noises. “Zzt, Zzt” the sound came from an area to my right on the floor where I keep a surge protector so I can plug in my phone and tablet to charge the batteries. I bent down to examine the surge protector and other cords for issues.
Suddenly we heard an extremely loud “ZZT, ZZT, ZZT” as a jolt of electricity passed through our living room. Steve isolated the sound to the hallway and we noticed one of the lights was out. Steve tried to pull the light cover off but it was too hot so he retrieved some oven mitts from the kitchen. Using the mitts he was able to remove the light cover and look up into the fixture. Steve noticed a small flame burning directly above the fixture and I saw a red glow coming from between two metal parts that held the light in place. Not knowing what to do, we decided to call 911. The operator asked a few questions, then instructed us to lock our dog, Skippy, in the back yard and then get out of the house right away. Steve put Skippy outside; then he took my hand and we walked out our front door.
As I stepped down off of the covered walkway and onto the grass I heard someone ask, “Do you need help?” I looked up and saw two city policemen standing on our lawn. Apparently these bicycle officers were making their rounds and saw smoke coming from the louvre in our attic. The officers asked if anyone else was in the house, and a few other questions, then asked us to go to the other side of the street.
Within three minutes two fire trucks, two police cars, and an EMT vehicle pulled up. The police blocked off the street while the firemen worked to find and put out the fire. I could not believe how quickly help arrived. I knew we were right in the palm of God’s hand.
I sat on the curb watching the smoke roll out of our attic while Steve stood on the grass of the empty lot that was directly across the street from our home. Soon some of our neighbors joined us. Steve called the prayer chain.
Soon one of our neighbors, a friend from the block next to ours came over to talk with Steve. This friend called some other church friends, and this young man came over to see what was going on. He invited us to stay at their house. We accepted his offer.
The firemen climbed onto the roof and removed the louvre cover and looked to assess the situation. They may have sprayed some chemicals in the attic but no water was used. An excessive amount of insulation, previously blown into the attic, partly suffocated the fire and kept it from spreading.
Soon the firemen went into our home through the front door, removed the pictures from the walls of the hallway, and played a tarp on the floor in the hallway. Then they quickly cut a 3 ft. by 6 ft. hole in the ceiling above the tarp. Next, they pulled burning insulation and coals from the hole in the ceiling down onto the tarp and carried it outside. They sprayed the burning material with water to put the fire out. Soon the fire was out and our home was still standing with only minimal damage.
Because of the smoke, gases, and insulation from the attic covering the floor, the firemen recommended we find another place to stay. They waited while we packed our bags and came back out of the house. The firemen had to leave to go on another call. One fireman advised that we turn the power off until an electrician could come and check everything out. So we turned off the lights, closed the door, and Steve, Skippy and I walked a block over to spend the night with our church friends.
Early Saturday morning we got up, had coffee with our friends, and walked back to our house.