November 13, 2007


Last night I was giving the girls a bath when I looked out the window beside the bathtub and saw a wall of fire engulfing the garage of the house kitty-corner behind us. The flames were above the trees and I couldn't tell if it was just the garage on fire or if other things were on fire too. I ran and grabbed the phone and called 9-1-1 but the operator couldn't hear me. I hung up and dialed again but she still couldn't hear me. At that point I decided getting out of our house was more important than calling 9-1-1, so I grabbed the girls, wrapped them in a towel and headed toward their room to get clothes for them. Just as we got to my bedroom door, there was a loud "boom" and all of the power went off. So there I was, holding two wet girls in total darkness -- one of whom was crying because I got her out of the bathtub so abruptly. As we were standing there, I heard a very loud pounding on my front door and a man's voice saying, "You need to get out of your house now!"

So down the stairs we went to the front door where a police officer was waiting to escort us out of the house. He did let me grab PJs for the girls when I remembered there were a couple new pairs in a bag by our back door. I also grabbed my wedding ring and my computer before we left. Our cars were in the driveway, in front of our garage, but they wouldn't allow me to move them. I also asked if I could go back upstairs and get the girls' Chinese paperwork but the police officer told me, "no."

The garage that burned is at the very back of our neighbor's yard and is extremely close to our garage. (The first two pictures below were taken from the front of our garage.) I was absolutely certain our garage was going to burn down too -- I actually was joking that at least it was a very quick way to get the garage clean. But thankfully the fire was contained and no one was injured.

When I went out this morning to look at the damage, the leaves on the tree that sits at the corner of our property were scorched, and there were burned leaves scattered on the ground, but there was not one bit of damage to our garage. Amazingly, the power company was outside at 1:00 a.m. replacing the transformer that exploded so our power is back on again this morning.

So other than few scorched leaves and a house that now smells like a campfire -- minus the much-needed marshmallows, graham crackers and Hershey bars -- all is well. It's never a dull moment is it? And of course, Eric was on his way home from a business trip when all this happened.

So this morning we're off to buy a fire-proof safe for the girls' Chinese paperwork . . . and maybe a couple of Hershey's bars to go with the smell.

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