Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Unbelievable

Last night I came very close to losing what I hold most dear. Shortly after 11pm, I woke to the sound of a blipping baby monitor. The audio was not working so I checked the visual monitor (we have 2 set up). It said "No Signal." After flicking the buttons off and on a few times, I decided I should get up to check the monitors in the little guy's room so I could get back to sleep. I trudged across the hall and noticed the light on from under the little guy's door. Odd, I thought to myself. Was my husband in there with him?

I opened the door expecting to see the two of them, but instead saw the oscillating fan on fire, a room full of smoke, and my son, lit by the light from the fire, screaming in his crib. I screamed downstairs to my husband, grabbed my son, ran to my daughter's room and grabbed her and ran downstairs. I plunked my daughter outside the front door, ran to get the fire extinguisher in the kitchen and called 911. I stayed outside with the kids while my husband tried to contain the fire. The extinguisher did not work and neither did a pillow. He thankfully had the smarts to use our kids' water bath buckets to get the fire out. The fire men ran into our home with a hose right after the fire was put out.

It was a blur.

We had a few fire trucks and an ambulance here. The street was blocked off. My son was checked out in the back of the ambulance after being put on an oxygen mask. We had many neighbors standing with us in solidarity on the front lawn. My friends across the street took the babe to their place so she could rest on their couch in peace.

When everyone was gone, the kids and I read some books in the living room while my husband tried to clear things up enough for us to sleep (there were traces of soot all over the second floor, and the firemen -- bless them -- and their firehoses had tracked in mud). We all snuggled together in our room, with the babe between my husband and I and the little guy back in the co-sleeper which was pulled down from the attic.

Needless to say we did not get more than a few hours of sleep last night.

Today has been a battle to control my mind. We were minutes away from the worst fate I can imagine. I am struggling to keep a strong face for our two children (who are now, finally, fast asleep).

I will write more on this later, but for now I need to say this: if you do not have a fire extinguisher on each level of your home, go buy them. You should also consider having fire alarms in all your bedrooms. We have an alarm in the hall outside our bedrooms, but as the little guy's door was shut, the alarm did not go off because the smoke had not yet reached the hallway ceiling.

Never make assumptions about your safety. Bad things do happen to good people, and we all need to do what we can to minimize the risks in our lives, while also trying to stay sane.

We are all safe. And I am thanking the powers above. One minute can change your life.


Anonymous said...

holy, chris! what a story. gives me the chils just reading about it. thank good you are all safe!

Love Janet

Catherine Ryan said...

Glad you are all safe. Must have been horrific. makes me hug the girls a little bit closer.


Anonymous said...

Holy Crap!!! Very scary..glad you are all okay. I will be installing those extra fire alarms tomorrow! Can't believe it!
Again, glad you are all okay.

Katy said...

Wow--thank goodness for whatever got you up at that moment. I am so glad you are all OK--that sounds terrifying. Thank you for the reminder--though none of us want to be reminded, it's so important. Keep on cuddling and loving each other and breathe.

Sending lots of love.