The house fire that wasn’t

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.

fire truck

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.

heat is back(heat is coming out of that vent again!)

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?

Love Rach


43 responses to “The house fire that wasn’t

  1. I’m glad to hear your family was OK and the damage wasn’t too bad! I’ve had a fire at a house behind ours but luckily we haven’t had any issues like that!

  2. Thank God you’re okay!!! Gosh! How scary! How amazing that it happened the way that it did. I’m happy you’re safe! Isn’t it crazy how things like that always make us want to count our blessings?

  3. Oh my word!!! how scary!! But seriously, how wonderful that it wasn’t worse and that someone was there to stop it before it spread more than it did! That’s so scary!!!

  4. thehipandthrifty

    I am SO glad you are all fine! Thank God you caught it in time, and I completely know what you mean about it being easier regarding your dog; I’ve got a “total teddy bear only to the people who live with him” kind of dog, so we have to limit the amount of new people he’s around. Glad you got the heat on, too–no one needs to stay without power in that weather! And the Christmas lights being one of the first things you saw when the power came back on is so sweet!
    Finally, I am almost sheepish to admit this, but after my initial relief that you were all OK, I worried about your new cabinets 😀

  5. Wow what a story! I’m so glad things were caught in time and that it was manageable. After all that, I probably would’ve wanted to stay home and cuddle with my family as well! Thankful for you friend. XO

  6. Oh and I LOVE your new header!!!

  7. So glad everyone is okay! That is scary. What a great community you have! We really need to make friends with our neighbors….

  8. whew!! so glad this had a good ending. glad all of y’all are safe and sound. hugs from me!

  9. How scary! I am glad that everything was okay though. We have never had a fire thank god, but it is such a big fear of mine.

  10. My goodness, thank the Lord you are all OK! ❤ ❤

  11. Oh that’s scary! I’m SO glad that God was watching over you and that the fire was minor. It’s frightening when you think about how much worse it could have been. Someone (and we know Who) was definitely looking out for you!!
    We were without power for weeks during an icestorm a few years ago. (Or, well, everyone else was. Nate and I were attached to the same grid as the fire department, as we were living in an apartment in the city at that time. So we were toasty warm…) But the power lines were all knocked down in the area, and many (including my parents and grandparents) had no heat or electricity for 2-3 weeks. Let’s just say that family took turns coming to use our shower during that time… 😉 Thankfully my parents have a gas stove, so they were at least able to cook. AND they have a fireplace. My grandparents drove about an hour away to a hotel that actually had power.

    • Oh my gracious, I can’t imagine the outcry that would happen if people were without power that long in Memphis. The south isn’t used to cold like that, ha! It’s good you guys still had power so you could share though! 🙂

  12. That is so scary! My husbands apartment actually burned down (when we were just dating!) from a fireplace in a different unit in his building. It was so scary but luckily no one was hurt! He did lose a lot of furniture but everything was replaceable!

  13. i am SO GLAD it wasn’t worse, and no one was hurt, seriously! ❤
    i keep a fire extinguisher in my kitchen because i always fear a fire there or from the dryer – we've had a few friends who had their dryers catch on fire.

  14. oh my goodness, so terrifying. thank goodness it wasn’t worse and everyone is okay!

  15. Ahhhh!! That is SO scary!! Thank God that everyone is okay! …and I’m glad that it didn’t turn into something worse. Fires are so scary 😦

  16. Oh my, glad you are ok, guys!! Thank goodness you were kept safe. Big hugs to you!! Love how positive you are & thankful ❤
    xox Nadia

  17. OH MY GOSH!! I am so glad you are all safe and that it wasn’t big at all!! Thank heavens. Wow!!! Oh man how did you survive with that temp drop with no electricity? Props to you!! I am such a baby in the cold, I would have froze to death! Thank heavens for mounds of blankets to keep you warm 🙂 And all the Christmas lights turning on when the power came back on literally sounds magical!! Once again, SO glad you are all safe!!!

    • Oh girl, putting our dog in bed with us was like having a space heater. He is so furry and warm, ha! Christopher got so warm that he was pulling blankets off in the middle of the night! I’m pretty sure it would’ve been rough to live that way for a week, but for 2 days – it was no biggie! 🙂

  18. Wow, this totally brought tears to my eyes. In a good way! I love the way you see what happened–how grateful you are that everything was just as it was and that the whole situation wasn’t worse. I’m so, so glad you guys were safe and that you now have power back. I’m also just sorry it happened in the first place. It must have been so scary!

    I have had the power go out due to storms in mine and Jimmy’s house as well as my parents–but never for more than a day. My family once had to be evacuated from our house because we had a carbon monoxide leak from our chimney. We almost all got carbon monoxide poisoning, which was so scary. It definitely made me thankful for everything! It still does when I reflect on it!!

    I hope all goes well with the insurance/code stuff. Again, so glad you’re safe!!

    • Oh my gracious! That’s so scary!! I’m so glad you were all okay! How did you find out about the leak??

      • Yeah, it was crazy scary! I was a young teen, so I remember being more mad over losing sleep. Looking back, though, I realize it was pretty serious haha. We found out because we had a carbon monoxide alarm. My parents had installed it not to long before then, too. It was so amazing how God protected us with that. The leak was from using our fire place–something with the chimney and carbon monoxide going back into the house or something. My parent’s haven’t had a fire in their house since then, Lol!

  19. So glad that the fire was as minimal as it was, and I hope that everything is resolved with insurance and any repairs needed as quickly as possible. It’s a very scary thing, but I’m glad it was an opportunity for your community to show how much they love you guys! Our apartment in China didn’t have any heat and the windows didn’t close all the way–ShenZhen winters don’t get cold, only to the 30s and 40s, but it still felt a bit frosty inside that apartment during the winter last year. Just add a couple extra layers of clothes to survive…

    • Oh man, I hear you. I kept telling Christopher that weekend that he was getting a taste of what living in China was like. Electricity that goes out suddenly and is out for an undetermined amount of time. Plus no heat. Just like the good ol’ days. 😉 Like you said, add a few layers and you’re good to go! Though having a window not shut entirely is an extra bonus that I didn’t experience. I’m sure that was VERY brisk! Ha!

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