Saturday morning started in a rush. I had been making pumpkin pancakes for me and Jaden, while wearing my pajamas, when the EMS pager went off. I didn’t realize I was on call until I looked at the calendar. I called my mom to come over and watch Jaden while I quickly threw on some clothes and headed to the fire station. I got back to the house a couple hours later and decided to take a shower. As I was getting out of the shower, I heard my mom get back to the house with Jaden. AND my pager went off for the second time. I got dressed again and headed back to the station and my mom took Jaden back to her house. When I got back from the second call, I went over to my mom’s house to pick up Jaden. I was looking forward to going home, taking another shower and relaxing for the rest of the afternoon. Wasn’t going to happen…
As soon as I pulled into the garage, I smelled smoke. I unlocked the door and was hit by the horrible smell of acrid smoke and the sound of our smoke detector going off. The dogs were barking, too. I ran through the house toward the bathroom where I thought the smoke was coming from. I felt the door and it wasn’t warm, so I opened the door. Immediately, thick, black smoke came billowing out. I closed the door again and ran toward the living room. Jaden had let the dogs out, so I put them in the back yard and sent Jaden out there too. I called 911 to report the fire. The funny thing is that my pager was in my purse, which was still hanging on my shoulder, so as she was paging out the call, my pager was going off.
I had seen the neighbor outside with her daughter riding her bike. I grabbed Jaden by the hand and took him across the street for the neighbor to watch. He was excited to play with Kenzie and her friends. I ran back to the back of the house and went in to get the cats out. Then I went around to the front of the house to wait for the firefighters. Another neighbor came down right away. He is also an EMT and had heard the call on his pager. If I heard a call like that and recognized that the address was right down the road, I would have shown up too.
Because I am on the ambulance crew, I know a few of the firefighters. When they showed up I told them where the bathroom was and what was going on. They went in, but they didn’t have enough light to see what was going on. They had to wait for more personnel. That was horrible for me. I knew that there was smoke coming out of my house and the firefighters were standing around outside my house. At this point, I called Tim, who was still at work. I told him to get home as soon as he could. He only had a couple deliveries left and dropped his stuff at the post office. He made it to the house in record time.
Our neighbors were all coming out to see what was going on. I kept going next door to use the bathroom. Even though there was an emergency in my house, I was still a pregnant lady and had to pee a lot. Eventually, the ambulance showed up. One of my fellow EMTs came up and told me that she wanted to get me in the rig and get me on some oxygen. I told her that I was fine, but she reminded me that I was pregnant and that I shouldn’t have been in the house at all. I acquiesced and sat for a while with some O2. It did feel better but I still had headache.
The firefighters really did a great time. They didn’t go in with their hoses spraying. They waited until the could see exactly what the problem was and how they could best deal with it. They crawled up into the attic crawl space and they vented the bathroom. They ended up not using any water, which is a blessing because it saves us from dealing with any water damage. However, as you can see by the photos below, our bathroom isn’t exactly livable.
We called the insurance company after all the excitement died down. Because I’m pregnant, they didn’t want me staying in the house and they declared it uninhabitable. We ended up staying at my mom’s house last night. We grabbed some clothes, that smelled like smoke, and spent most of last night and today washing clothes so that we have something to wear. We are staying at a hotel for the foreseeable future. The insurance adjuster will be over tomorrow and I’m hoping that Service Master Cleaners will also be stopping by tomorrow.
I certainly had other plans for this weekend. But we are really so blessed that our entire house didn’t burn down. If I had come home later the attic could have caught fire. If the bathroom door had been open, the thick, black smoke may have filled the whole house and who knows what that would have done to our animals. While we are in the hotel, our dogs are staying with my aunt. It isn’t ideal, but we are blessed to have family who will help us out.
We stopped at the house today to pick up some more clothes and check on the cats. Poor Nola is all grey with soot. That can’t be good for her as she cleans herself. We had the windows open overnight, but the house still reeks of smoke. Here are the photos of our ordeal.
Some of the firefighters who helped out.
The fan fell out of the ceiling and melted onto the floor.