A knock on our bedroom door at 2 am. Our 12 year old informed us that the smoke alarm was blaring in her and her sister's room. I woke up instantly then. Fear does that to a person. Thank you adrenaline. I made sure Wes woke up in short order and let him do the manly hero thing of going up the smoky stairs. My son was still up there, although both girls who live upstairs had already come down.
M says she woke up when she was experiencing a sore throat and it smelled funny and she couldn't breathe. She came downstairs and got a drink of water and noticed that her sister was on the couch downstairs instead of in her bed. She says she knocked timidly on our door at first, and then realized that "Hey I smell smoke and the alarm is going off." Then she knocked loudly and woke us up. This whole process too several minutes.
Wes had to go and wake E. up so that he would come downstairs. By now we are all awake, and grabbing a blanket and robes, and heading out the back door. I nabbed the sleeping bag that's on the back porch and that kept us off the cold ground. B had nabbed one of her blankets, so the kids all huddled under it while I called 911 and waited out front for the fire department to show up. Wes was busy being his own personal bucket brigade. He got the fire out (or mostly out?) by the time the fire department got there. They never did get out the fire hoses, so I think he did a pretty good job dousing the flames.
But the upstairs was filled with smoke, and they had to destroy the wall where the fire started in order to make sure it was out.
How, you wonder, did this all happen? Stoopidity, that's how.
A. needed a night light, and hers burned out. So, Wes draped a towel over a lamp to make a night light. Later, A. decided that the towel was still letting too much light through, so she folded the towel up and draped the folded towel over the light, which was on the wall right by her bed. That caught fire. Probably 2.5-3 hours after it was left there. And she was asleep right smack dab next to it. Oh, yikes! The flames were spreading up the wall by the time Wes started fighting them.
Wall damage, ceiling damage. Carpet damage, mattress damage.
And a house fire SMELLS....a cloying combination of wood smoke and burnt plastic smell.
We were back in our beds by 3 am. The two younger girls in with me, and dh and ds camping out in the living room. Firefighters told us not to let the kids upstairs until morning. It took me forever to fall back asleep, and then around 5 am I woke up from a "the house caught back on fire" nightmare.
Needless to say, I'm sporting a big headache this morning which I also went to bed with last night. (But interstingly enough, was not present during the emergency. Thank you, adrenaline.)
And while I was sitting huddled with the kids in the back yard at 2:30 am grateful that it was a clear night and not raining, I had the funny thought that for all the times I've thought about "if our house is on fire I will grab this, that or the other (perhaps the laptop, or my guitar, or the one hand painted Icon we own), I realized that the ONLY thing that mattered is that we were all physically safe.
Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee!