That one time we could have died…

As many of you know from Instagram and Facebook, Christopher and I had quite the wake up call on our last night in Destin. A little before 3:45am Christopher woke up to the smell of smoke. Thinking someone nearby must be cooking, he tried to shrug it off and go back to sleep. But then he kept thinking “what if it’s something serious?” so he got up to walk around the condo to see what was going on. Noticing that the condo seemed foggy, but still in a foggy state himself (again, remember that this is the middle of the night and he didn’t have his contacts in), he walks out to our balcony to see if he notices anything out there. Realizing that the smell is definitely in the condo and not coming from outside, he realizes that something serious is happening. However, the detector on the ceiling of the hallway isn’t going off. Unsure if it’s a fire detector or smoke detector, he continues to walk around the condo looking for the source of the smoke.

Meanwhile, I woke up to the smell of what I thought was someone smoking outside our door. I kept trying to go back to sleep, but the smell kept me awake. So finally I got up and walked out of the room to find Christopher at the other end of the condo with an equally confused look on his face. I flipped on a light switch and we both immediately see that the condo is full of smoke (like not just a little smokey, but more than I’ve ever see before). You could see through it, but it was really hazy. I say, “Is that smoke?” and Christopher who has been awake and processing longer than I have says, “Yes, definitely!” Since we see no flames, we called security first (again, we are still thinking that this smoke is coming from somewhere outside our condo even though we don’t smell it outside the condo) and walked into the hallway (so we could BREATHE – it was awful in that condo). Security came up and when he saw the condo full of smoke, he immediately called the fire department.

fire truck

The fire chief said it smelled like an electrical fire {the theory is that there was an electrical fire, but it burned out before we woke up – we don’t like to think about what would have happened if we hadn’t woken up and kept breathing in that smoke}. After the condo aired out a bit, they allowed us back in to retrieve our belongings. They flipped off the breaker and evacuated us to another condo. By the time we were in the new condo it was nearly 5am. Since we were planning to wake up early to see the sunrise anyway, we decided to just stay up until it was time to walk out to the beach. We both had headaches, queasy tummies and I had a cough, but over all we were fine. No lasting damage. 🙂


Watching the sun rise that morning was a special moment. It signified another day of life that we have together. Because truthfully, we are never promised tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong – we are Christians and we believe in heaven and I am unbelievably excited to see God face to face someday. But I think sometimes I just assume that I will live a full life and see all my grandchildren get married and have children of their own. But sometimes life doesn’t work out like that. It’s scary sometimes when you realize how much trust you put in the things of this world. We trust that if there is danger in the middle of the night, an alarm is going to go off to wake us up so we can get to safety. We trust that if there is a car wreck, the airbag will deploy. We trust seat belts and harnesses and fire alarms. But these things fail sometimes. Or we think they are present when in reality they aren’t. We put our trust in these things, but life happens. We are never promised tomorrow. God is truly the only One we can trust in the end. He is the only One Who will never fail us.

jetty east

By the way, we stayed at Jetty East. It was our third time to stay here and the first time we’ve had any sort of negative experience (the rest of our weekend here was wonderful as was every time we’ve been here before). They apologized profusely and comped our entire stay. This incident will not keep us from staying there again. It really is a great spot (with a great stretch of beach!!) and we appreciate how they handled this situation in the aftermath. But I can tell you right now, we’ll be bringing our own smoke detector with us when we travel anywhere from now on. Not in a paranoid way, but just in a better-safe-than-sorry sort of way. 😉

Have you ever had an experience similar to this? 
Any possible near-death experiences?
Love Rach


26 responses to “That one time we could have died…

  1. Glad the fire burned itself out! Did you have any issues getting the smoke smell out of your clothes?

  2. Yikes!! Stay safe!!

  3. How scary. I am so glad that you guys woke up and are okay. It really is amazing how life can change in the matter of an instant. Very humbling and certainly enough to cause me to put trust in something other than safety features here on Earth.

  4. How scary! Glad to hear that you are both okay though.

  5. goodness, to hear the entire story – I am so glad y’all are ok and that God kept pressing y’all to not fall back asleep!
    also what a beautiful sunrise (and moments of clarity) together!

  6. We had to leave a condo once because the fire alarms went off! Someone burned popcorn. Glad to hear you guys were OK!

  7. That picture of the sunrise. Oh my goodness. That has got to be one of the prettiest pictures I’ve ever seen! So glad you both were okay, and hurrah for a free stay! This is a good reminder that we are not promised any moment longer than what we’re living and to not take things for granted.

  8. I’m so glad you were ok! What a scary circumstance! That’s such a great reminder to not take life for granted!

  9. I’m so glad you guys woke up when you did and got out of there! I’m also glad you didn’t let that ruin the rest of your trip and got to experience that beautiful sunrise! Honestly, that photo looks like a painting! xx

  10. Wow! What a night! Thanks for sharing your thoughts too…We do take things in a very noneternal way too often. It’s good to remember that our time here IS just “for now”.

  11. That’s awesome that they comped y’all’s stay! I’m so glad y’all are ok!

  12. So happy you guys woke up! That is so scary! They definitely could be fined or worse for not having working smoke detectors! 😦 I am happy to hear they handled the situation with class though.

    And amennnnnnn to all your thoughts. 🙂 We often put trust in so many things, but really God’s the only thing that’s 100%

  13. Oh my goodness! I am so happy you both are okay. I had been wondering what had happened when I saw your IG photo. Events like that really make you stop and think about your life, don’t they?!

  14. So scary, but your perspective is so true. We just don’t know how many days we have. I can only imagine how special that sunrise was for you both that morning. So glad you are both safe and it didn’t ruin your trip!

  15. OH my goodness, that is so scary! But also a really great moment/reminder of how precious life is!

  16. Wow, that must have been super frightening! I can’t even imagine. I am so happy you were both okay and that it was nothing super serious!

  17. Well, at least the fire put itself out and you got a free stay! All that matters is that y’all are okay.


    I’m glad you had a good time! Your pics are always so cute!!

  19. Oh girl, that’s terrifying! I’m so glad that you two were able to wake up and get out of there. You really don’t expect things like that to happen, but you’re right, the things we trust to keep us safe aren’t where we should ultimately be putting our trust! So glad you got a free stay out of it and were able to enjoy the rest of your vacation!

  20. Scary! Glad y’all are okay!

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