What were you doing 9 years ago yesterday? I know what I was doing. It's forever burned into my brain. I'm mostly writing this down so I can keep it some place. This is what happened according to my memory.
Chrissy and her 3 kids Nikki, Sky, and Jadeyn lived with us. Chrissy and I were in a Christmas musical and my parents were here to watch us. Sunday night long after we had gone to bed my mom came into my bedroom to tell me my dad was having chest pains and they wondered what to do. CALL 911! My mom walked back into my room(where they were sleeping, we were in Bug's room) and said Bob she said to call 911. To which my dad replied, No, I just want her to take us to the hospital. OK LETS GO! So off dad, mom and I went to the hospital. I personally thought they should have moved a tad faster for us walking in there with a 60 something man having chest pains. We were there all night. He did not have a heart attack. So because of this they stayed at my house another day because we had been up all night. So Chrissy and Dh were at work and I cooked dinner and left to go teach a sign language class. My parents served dinner and were doing kid duty. Rescue Rita had Bugs and was bringing him home. She stayed to visit with my parents for a while. While they were talking dad smelled something burning. Rita said I know the boys are allowed ( big boys) to have candles in their rooms. Maybe that is it. My dad brushed it off for then. He smelled it again and said Nope, gotta check it out. As he turned the corner down stairs he yelled You know you don't play with fire! As he picked Jadeyn and Sky up off the pile of things they were sitting on in the closet the fire flashed! My dad yelled fire and get everyone out. Heir apparent and Drummer boy were out and about. T2 and Skater and Bugs were here. My mom got everyone out (this part is not mine because I wasn't here) and dad had grabbed an armful of burning stuff and threw it out the front door. T2 got the fire extinguisher for dad and it didn't work, they tried to get the hose but it was frozen. The neighbor got his hose and stretched it across the road and my dad and Rita worked on spraying the fire until the fire department got here. My mom says it took 20 minutes to get here. I don't know, we live a block from the fire house. My neighbor on the left gave my dad a pair of shoes to put on and the neighbor across the street took my mom and the kids to her house. At some point my friend Tame' tried to call me and kept trying until she got me. I was driving home. I pulled up to firetrucks and an ambulance in front of my house. I got out of my van and just wanted to die. I have always felt our house was a gift from God and have never not been thankful for it. (some day I'll tell that story) I already knew everyone was ok. I think it might have been Feb before I took a whole breath again. I went into the neighbors house to hug my kids. Everyone was so scared. The fire investigator wanted to talk to me and the adults in the house. Climbed into the ambulance to talk and my dog Suzie was having a hard time breathing so they put a mask with air on her and then Rita started really coughing so they gave it to her. My dad brushed them all off and said he was fine. He had been carrying things on fire out of the house but there was not a burn on him. They asked all the questions and got them answered. There was no need for an investigation as we all knew how it had started. The fire Marshall came and finally said I could go in the house with him. The smell was over whelming! Oh it was awful. I went down stairs first. I could see where the fire started and where it flashed. What the fire hadn't got, the heat and water did. There were pictures on the farthest wall that were melted. I kept looking down and could not figure out what I was walking in. It looked like puke and I was just beyond disturbed. The fireman finally saw my face and said, it was the 50 pound bag of dog food in the closet - WET and tracked all over. Oh it was awful. Then I went upstairs. It was heat and smoke that got the upstairs. It was black and just overwhelming. When I walked into my bedroom my king size bed was in pieces all over the room. I turned again to my fire Marshall escort and he said the dogs went under the bed. My mom was yelling for the dogs so the firemen got them out. They had 2 little dogs with them and we had 2 little dogs. The firemen got them out. The damage was great but mostly downstairs. The windows were broken for ventilation and the water, heat and fire damage. My 2 parakeets were dead but everyone else was fine. The nicest man came for the red cross to walk me through what to do next. I still could not get a hold of Dh and Chrissy. Someone called my pastor and he came and was with me. Some of what the firemen was telling me finally got through the fog that was my brain and I went and found our file on the house and gave him the insurance file and he called and made all the arrangements for me right then. Then Dh and Chrissy showed up. Chrissy's kids were so relieve their Mama was here. The Red Cross gave us a night in a motel so we gathered a few things that STUNK. My parents got all their things out of here. Off we went, all 13 of us to 3 rooms at an AWFUL motel. BUT we were thankful - honest. The owner was just an ugly racist man. We all tried to get to sleep. I think the kids slept but no adults did. We meet with the insurance and the contractor they called and the clean up company at 9 AM the next day. We had to find a long term motel and we weren't willing to stay where we were so my mom did some research for us and found the Hawthorne Inn up the highway from us. I sent my parents on to my Uncles and then on to home. I asked them to take my sister's big dog Sparky home with them. He couldn't go to the motel with us. So we sent him to the farm. Rita contacted our church and we had meals delivered to us for the whole time we were in the motel. My sweet cousin sent us the most precious tiny decorated living Christmas tree. It was a very hard time. We have very sweet memories of the time we spent there. Heir and Drummer didn't stay with us all the time they stayed with friends as they were closer to school. We saw and talked to them every day and when they needed a pool or hot tub fix they came to the motel to play with us. Service Master's did a good job with the clean up of everything in the house that was worth saving and the contractor's fixed it all up. I cried when picking out carpet. Everyone said I would love doing that and I didn't. It was to many choices and I was just overwhelmed. We were able to come back home in January.
I know I'm missing parts but it really was a stressful time.