Dealing with fire's aftermath is not much fun

This is my neighbor's side of the duplex where we live. Our side sustained only smoke damage.

This is my neighbor's side of the duplex where we live. Our side sustained only smoke damage.

Understatement of the year: It's pretty scary to wake up at 4:30 am to see smoke rolling through the second floor hallway of your home.

That's how my wife and I were awakened Wednesday morning.

But at least we woke up and were able to get out the of house safely with our quaker parrot.

We live in a duplex. A fire that apparently started in the basement of our neighbor's home on the west side of the duplex quickly spread up to the third floor of the very large, 115-year-old frame home. It was fed by a gas line, whose shutoff valve firefighters could not find. My neighbor the owner got out safely, though he suffered some smoke inhalation. Both him and a firefighter were treated and released for smoke inhalation Wednesday.

Here's a recap of the fire. The photo shows my neighbor's side of the house.

There's a brick firewall between my neighbor's unit and ours. It worked. Thankfully, we had no fire or water damage in our home. However, there is extensive smoke damage to be repaired. We won't be living in a our home for quite some time while experts work on that.

Good news is no one was seriously hurt, and we should be able to move back in sometime this year. It will take some time to determine whether any of our personal property sustained damage. But those are just things.

Please bear with me a bit while I get back to a more normal life.

Also, please do two things for me:

  • Check/change the batteries in your smoke detector.
  • Hug your loved ones.

Filed under: Altered states


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  • I am so glad that no one in your family or your neighbors were seriously hurt. It was 5 years ago this Feb. 6, that I lost everything in a fire that started when I was at work. I lost everthing I own excecpt the most important thing. Me. All the best to you.

  • In reply to ibilldavis:

    Wow ibill! So sorry for you. My story is nothing compared to yours.

  • Kevin, I hope the damage is limited and you'll be able to get back in your home quickly. At least everyone is OK.

  • Kevin--I'm happy you two got out and there's little damage on your side. I hope you can get back in soon.

  • OMG! Every time I hear news reports of fires in this neck of the woods, I wonder if it's anyone I know. Glad it wasn't worse. Hope you are able to get over what must still be real trauma.

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    Glad you're okay!

  • Thanks to all for your concern and good wishes. We're getting through this. As I mentioned, my post volume may drop a bit in the next few days/weeks. Please stay with me!

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    Wishing you the best!

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