These words came from Matt’s mouth yesterday morning after we were let back into our house around 8am. Let me take you back a few hours so you can understand why he said those words…
At 6:15am a strange alarm fuzzed it’s way into Matt and my sleepiness. Matt got up to check it, I rolled over deciding that it was nothing. When Matt opened the door I changed my mind as I heard the fire alarm clearly for the first time. And then I heard Dakota’s howling. Matt, being his brave self, went to investigate. I checked the baby.
Next thing I know Matt, being dragged by Dakota, announced as he came through some campfire-looking smoke, “Get up babe, we need to get out.” I grabbed something I wasn’t going to stand on the curb in the cold without(modesty runs deep friends), a sweatshirt, socks, boots, the baby and her hat. And I covered Rachael’s head from the noise as I passed by the fire alarm and walked through the smoke that was beginning to “fill the house” from the furnace and water heater closet. Knowing the gas was still on as I walked by the smoke source was a bit nerve wracking, but my adrenalin was going.
After grabbing a coat, car keys (so baby could stay warm and we could have a getaway vehicle should we never return to the house), the car seat, and a few bottles on a flyby the kitchen table – we left via the garage. While I was bundling the baby for the cold, Matt was on the phone with the fire department. Four minutes after he hung up we were standing on the lawn outside of our house and the fire department arrived (talk about a quick response).
Turns out that after an hour or so later, a firefighter going into the crawlspace under our house, and a smoke sucking vacuum thing, we received the news. The source of the small, controlled fire in the back of our utilities closet was unknown. Apparently that little fire that originated behind the furnace had caught some of the sub flooring on fire for 5 feet under our house. The firefighter said we did a good job calling early and it was a good things because they were able to completely control the fire for the entire time and that the house was safe to return to. The gas, on the other hand, had been turned off to the house (a good thing so as not to produce an atomic bomb) and, therefore, we would have enough hot water for 2 quick showers and enough heat for potentially the afternoon. We suffered no real property damage (other than some charred floor boards) and the church has already arranged to have the guy who installed the furnace come inspect it. Sad thing? The furnace is only a 3 year old baby so we have no idea what could have gone wrong.
Sunday after church the heat had not survived long in our house – something about winter and leaving the windows open to ventilate smoke from the house at 6 in the morning led me to believe that the heat would not be staying long. Being as how we have a one month old baby, we sought warmth and fellowship at a nearby friend and church member’s house after Matt was done preaching at the nursing home. Then last night we stayed at another friend’s house – they were highly hospitable in clearing out their basement for the night so Rachael wouldn’t bother anyone other than us with her morning/nighttime “feed me” announcements. I’m headed over to Ellen’s for the day to keep warm and help out with a giant cooking day that Ellen has planned. And poor Dakota is spending the afternoon in her cage due to the circumstances. [That’s why I’m here in the house petting and typing because I feel bad that she has had to be locked up so much. – and really I could tell that it means a lot to Matt.]
No smoke damage ensued despite the constant scent of campfire that lingers in our house and on our clothes. Matt joked yesterday morning as he sniffed his suit, “Smells like we picked up a bad habit.” And once the heat is able to be turned back on, Matt and I will begin the laundering of all our clothes, febreezing of the furniture and vacuuming of the carpets in an attempt to return to normal.
Are we blessed? I cannot tell you how blessed we are. And even though this could be seen as an inconvenience to our regular schedule, seriously let’s look at the big picture here with utter gratefulness and thanksgiving to God. That small fire could have become much worse and could have been much more devastating. Sweet Rachael slept through the whole affair – I don’t even think she knows what happened. And we have wonderful friends and family who are helping us stay warm. And even thought Dakota has to stay in a cold house – she’s a snow dog and is doing just fine.
So yes, Matt’s wit is right…
Now I have something to write about in my blog.
Okay, time for Rachael and I to load up and defrost our noses at Ellen’s home.