Tuesday, August 11, 2009


At midnight on Friday the 7th August, Casey called Kelly while we were at his parents' place having a lovely time with the family; Lori and George were visiting. Our house was on fire. Casey heard the smoke alarm upstairs but thought it was a car alarm somewhere in the neighbourhood. Sinead eventually went up to check it out but only got as far as the stairwell before she realised how bad things were. She told Casey, who went upstairs and tried to turn the light on. He thought the globe was out, but really the whole upstairs was filled with thick, black smoke and extremely hot. He went back down and kicked out the flywire on the basement window. Then he helped Sinead and her cat escape before climbing out to safety and calling 911. We rushed home and waited on the lawn till 3 am when the firemen and the fre marshall finished putting out the smoke. The kids went to Christina's house and we went to visit Kelly's parents. Understandably, this horrible incident brought up a lot of awful memories for Terry whose parents both died in a house fire when the kids were little. Then we tried to find a hotel room but ended up sleeping at Blue Creek. The current estimates are that we will be out of our house for 6 - 8 weeks and it will cost $100,000 to repair our home and replace things. The fire seems to have started near the tv cabinet when all the furninture was stacked in the dining room as I was finishing the hard wood floors. Thank God I put the lids on the highly flamable floor stain properly.

We are still pretty shaken up and daunted by the propsect of putting our home back together. Of course the main thing is that Sinead and Casey are safe. It is also a great comfort that we have good insurance and will not be out of pocket. But the little things that upset me are the time and effort I put into painting the house and handmaking the drapes. Even worse will be if the home movies are ruined, or paintings by dear friends. Apparently anything made of plastic or leather can't be salvaged, and I hate shopping for shoes. Everything is covered in a greasy petro chemical soot that Kelly and I have come to loathe as the smell of danger and destruction.

But we'll be ok. Everyone has been so kind and supportive. We are well insured and we have each other. It will just be inconvenient and tiring, with a few traumatic flashbacks from time to time.

So check your smoke detectors.
With much love

This is where it most likely started, around the tv cabinet