This past weekend we had a really minor fire on the exterior of our house. A tree limb hit power lines attached to our house which caused arcing which caused some of the siding the catch on fire. I actually can’t talk a lot about a lot of the specifics today or share photos of the damage because of insurance and codes. But just know that it was a minor thing that could have so easily been a super major thing.
If so many things had just been slightly different then our house could have burned to the ground. With Oreo inside. Or with us asleep. Or while we were out of town with our regular house/dog sitter asleep inside. Every time the realization of one of those things hit me on Saturday I found myself overwhelmed with thankfulness for how it happened. If it hadn’t been for the friend of ours who was there with Christopher when it happened and the fire extinguisher we keep in the kitchen, we very easily might have lost half of our house this past weekend. I really wish I could fill in more gaps to that part of the story, but just suffice it to say that it felt a little bit like a guardian angel looking out for us. If this had to happen, it couldn’t have happened at a better time.
The fire department was called while Christopher and our friend handled the fire and got Oreo out of the house. By the time they arrived the fire had already been put out, but they still had to check for smoldering and thermal heat throughout the house. I had been at a newborn photoshoot that morning so I got a call from Christopher around this time filling me in. I came home to the fire truck in front of our house. Everyone was super kind to us and helpful. The city came out to turn off the power to our house (so we wouldn’t be electrocuted walking through our backyard) until we could get an electrician to come out and fix the power lines. So we were without power for Saturday and most of Sunday. Did I mention that this weekend is when the weather dropped from the 60s here in Memphis to the 20s? I’ll come back to that later.
Before I even arrived home I started getting calls from our neighbors asking if I knew there was a fire truck outside our house and if we were all okay. I explained to them what happened and they each told us to call if we needed anything. A hot shower, a place to hang out with electricity, a place to stay for a few days while we wait on repairs. We felt so loved by these precious friends. Later that day I posted something about all of this to social media. Because that’s what people in our generation do. ;) Anyway, if we felt loved before, we felt overwhelmed with love after I did that. The calls and texts began pouring in at that point. We lost count of how many people offered us a place to stay (even saying that Oreo was welcome as well). You guys… it was just too much. The wrap around we felt. So much love. So much concern. I don’t know how people make it without community.
We ended up deciding to stay home on Saturday night even without electricity much to the chagrin of several of our friends who kept reminding us that it was 20 degrees and that there was no need to be a hero about it. ;) We weren’t opposed to taking help, but with Oreo it’s just easier to stay home if we could tough it out through the night. Plus we were hopeful to not be without power for long (which we weren’t!). Christopher, Oreo and I piled in our bed with flannel sheets and under all the blankets in our house. We were SO toasty all night long. It was definitely brisk getting out of our cozy bed the next morning, but it was very manageable. It was in the 20s outside, but we’re pretty sure it didn’t drop below 50 inside (our thermostat said it was in the 50s when our power came back). Not something sustainable for a long time, but for 2 days (and only one night), it was fine.
Yesterday, just before dark, we got our power back. All the lights that had been on when the power went off all popped on while I was standing in the kitchen. One minute I was clearing out spoiled food from our freezer and the next I was bouncing in glee when I heard the power come on and all our Christmas lights came on around me. It was such a happy moment.
The past couple of days Christopher and I haven’t been able to stop talking about how grateful we are. How wonderful it was to be surrounded by love and concern from neighbors, friends, and family. How grateful we are that it wasn’t worse and that we already have power back. How thankful we are to know that if it had been worse that we have such an incredible community that would have taken care of us. Our hearts are overflowing which feels kind of perfect for this Thanksgiving week. :)
Have you ever had a fire at your home?
Have you gone without power during extreme weather?