I don't even know where to start. I was hunkered down on the sofa tonight feeling ick (a migraine I now know) waiting for One Tree Hill when the doorbell starts ringing off the hook and then someone started pounding, hard. Matt and I jump up and run over thinking it's a neighbor, ready to freak if Ari wakes up. It's a fire man, yelling at us to get out now. I mean really yelling, saying get out now, the house is on fire. I seriously thought it was a joke until I saw his shirt, then the flames.
I ran upstairs and snatched Ari out of his crib, I could see the yellow and orange at his window, I was terrified. Matt was trying to find Mika but the fire guy was screaming at us to get out, we didn't have time to get her. She was hiding under the bed and it's a big bed, he couldn't reach her. We ran across the street, the neighbors house next door had flames shooting out the front window, the whole front porch was burning. Thankfully the wind was blowing away from our house keeping most of the flames away, the fire guys were spraying our house first. I couldn't figure out why they weren't putting out their house but then I realized there wasn't much hope.
It took forever for the fire trucks to get here, at least 10-15 minutes. We were all huddled in the yard crying, watching their house disappear. They had two dogs, we could hear them but the flames were so huge, we couldn't get them out. I still feel nauseous thinking about it. The only thing left of their house is the garage, everything else is a pile of wood and ash. Apparently there were two other fires in our town, there weren't any trucks to get here. It was horrible, waiting for our house to catch fire, watching theirs melt before our eyes.
The family was out to dinner when the fire started, we still don't know where or how. By the looks of it I think it started in or near the kitchen, we'll know more tomorrow. The fire marshall will be back tomorrow to inspect our house and asses our damage, we'll find out more.
I am completely in shock, I just stopped shaking. I'm really pretty numb now, I just keep thinking if I'd gotten up to check at what the explosions were, I mean I looked out the window but it was the other side of their house that burned more. I thought kids were playing with fireworks outside, they do it all the time. Then I thought maybe it was car doors slamming, I feel so helpless.
The other neighbors on our street and I are getting together tomorrow to start organizing a donation drive. Matt and I are going shopping tomorrow for some fire safes, we're making an emergency and evacuation plan. We had no time to grab anyhting, it was the scariest moment of my life. We have the chance to change that, we've been given a wakeup call, I'm not wasting it.
It's raining now, the wind has died down and the last of eight fire trucks just pulled away, four hours later. I'm going to try to sleep, try being the operative word. Sit down with your family, make a plan. You can never be too prepared...