Sunday, July 6

Firework drama.

Well on the night of the 4th of July we were sleeping quietly in our beds and heard the fire trucks whine by. They do it a lot, we live on the main road so it's not usually a big deal. This time they seemed pretty insistent and were enough to wake me up. I sat up and as I did so I smelled smoke. A LOT of smoke. I called out "I smell SMOKE, Bud" to Rex and he jumped up as I did. I couldn't see anything out of my bedroom window so I tore downstairs, reassuring myself the whole way that it wasn't MY house that was on fire..?? Someone would have TOLD us, right?!?! We shot outside and the dark street was filled with smoke we could see it billowing up against the streetlights and smell the acrid stench of it. We could see lights of the fire trucks reflecting in the smoke and knew approximately where the fire was. Rex ran inside to put on shorts and went out to see what he could do, if anything. As I waited I got dressed too and paced around the house waiting for him to come back with news. It probably would have been ok to leave the house with the sleeping kiddoes in it but I was worried they'd wake up to the sirens and smell the smoke and think our house was on fire. I waited. Rex came back and told me where the fire was and I took a cell phone and ran out. I found the family standing alone on the sidewalk, watching as their house burned down. The volunteer fire department were doing a great job and water poured down the street like a river from the pumpers. Lights from the many fire trucks and police cars swirled around our heads.. the whole scene very surreal. The family were standing with their old German Shepherd dog. Apparently she had been the one to save the family. She had barged into the rooms with such force that she woke the sleeping occupants and they were able to snatch up the small children and hustle everyone out the front door. The family looked so lost as they huddled together so I talked with them and helped them out a little bit. They had a wedding the next day and all the clothes they were going to wear, all the gifts and so on, were lost to the fire. They weren't quite sure how they were going to swing it all. Poor folks. I offered our house as somewhere to stay but they had inlaws in the city so were able to have somewhere to go at least.

The next day I thought about them all morning. I knew the wedding was at 11 and I was sad to see it was raining at that time. I did notice that the sun broke out around noon and I hoped that the timing would be perfect for them to be leaving the church into the sun. I caught up with the family again that afternoon.. they were salvaging some things from the fire and had happily been able to save quite a few family photos. They said the wedding went off really smoothly and they had "pulled it off" !!! I'm so happy for them.

At the time of the fire they were unsure how it had started but we agreed that the odds of a house fire on the 4th of July NOT being caused by fireworks was probably pretty slim. The fire marshall determined that some fireworks had not been extinguished correctly and had burned a trash barrel which was next to the house. The family were sure they had doused the fireworks in water and made them safe. It's really too bad. We always are concerned on the night of the 4th. We have a wood shake roof and worry that a firework may land on top of it.....

This year we had 9 firework tents in town. NINE. How crazy is that. I wonder if there is a correlation between the number of tents and the number of injuries or house fires? Frankly I was surprised at how BIG some of the fireworks were that were being sold! I took the kids on the 4th and we spent all of $7 on little silly kid fireworks... ( our favorites were the colored smoke balls!! ) Some of the others were 100s of dollars!!! WHO spends that much money on explosives?!!? I guess quite a few people ....

You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism. ~Erma Bombeck

1 comment:

Niecey said...

Gosh that's so sad.
I'm always terrified around fireworks. I prefer to watch from a safe distance rather than ever use any ourselves.
How sad though. I hope the family is able to pick up the pieces well and move forward happily. At least they were all safe, it's just a material loss.