Surviving a house fire is more than making it out alive. It’s a very long process that can creep up on you when you least expect it.
It all started on Monday, January 4th with an electrical fire in our kitchen ceiling, directly underneath our daughters bed in her room. Thankfully, we smelled the electrical burning, got the kids and animals out and the firefighters opened our ceiling up and extinguished the fire. The damage was so much more involved than we originally thought.
We lived in a hotel for 7-1/2 weeks.
That’s 7-1/2 weeks of school & extra-curricular activities for the kids, work for us, not having our animals with us, not having our couch to chill on while watching a cooking show, not having our regular shower, not having a stocked refrigerator and cabinets whenever we got hungry, and everything else that we all take for granted on a daily basis.
Even after we moved home there was still work that needed to be finished. It’s still not done. But we’re close.
Thankfully everyone is safe and healthy and that’s what really matters, but it was a stressful time on all of us.
We have lived through this fire for going on 13 weeks now. That’s a solid 3+ months of living through, stressing over, coping with, and surviving a house fire and everything that comes with it. Dealing with insurance companies and a multitude of contractors is extremely time consuming and taxing on your emotions.
I thought I was on the other side of this life altering event.
Until the other night when the kids were at their Mom’s, Mark was at work and I was home alone and a breaker tripped. I tried to turn a fan on in our bedroom after turning the overhead light and a small table lamp on when I was going to bed. I do this every night. Same routine. Every night.
Except, tonight it was different. Tonight, a breaker tripped.
At first I thought I blew a lightbulb and that my cord was unplugged on the fan. But then I realized neither of those were the case. That’s when I ran downstairs and checked the breaker panel. Sure enough, a breaker tripped. In our brand new 150amp huge breaker panel that was installed after the fire. I calmly (sort of) reset the breaker and went upstairs to see if that fixed everything. It did. Then I text Mark to let him know what had happened. He is always so much calmer than I am and has such a level head, especially in a normally panicked situation. Meanwhile, I’m on my hands and knees feeling the floor for heat. Checking inside the closet for any smells. Mark calmed me down (for the most part) and I tried to sleep.
But sleep is hard when you’ve just survived an electrical house fire three months prior and you trip a breaker by turning something on. I was thankful that night that the kids were not at our house sleeping. If something were to happen, at least it would’ve only been to me. But even that, we have all brand new smoke/carbon monoxide hard wired detectors in every bedroom and living space, so I would’ve been just fine.
But sometimes, rational thoughts don’t come. Sometimes, panic and irrational thoughts come instead.
PLEASE – change the batteries in your smoke detectors AT LEAST once every 6 months. If it’s at all possible, have them hard wired into your houses electrical system.
I know I’ll get over this entire house fire thing. I guess I just have to take it one day at a time.