Monday, February 28, 2011

Fire in the Hole!

Haha. Remind me to never again make fun of Murphy's Law on Confession Friday.

So...this is the first I have been able to sit down in front of a computer since our...excitement...Saturday morning. And I literally had to wipe ash off of my keyboard before placing my delicate hands onto the be-speckled keys. What a stinkin mess!

Where our range used to be!

We were having our normal lazy Saturday morning. It was dark and overcast, and we were snuggling in the living room watching TV. Around 11:20 am I realized that I needed to get lunch ready. Evie was already dozing on the couch, and it really throws off our routine if she naps before she eats. So I preheated the oven and checked the freezer for a frozen pizza. I set the timer and grabbed Grace, knowing that I could fit in a 15 minute feeding before it was time to feed Evelyn.

Eventually the timer went off and almost instantaneously I got a whiff of burning plastic. Ugh. This is actually not an unfamiliar scent around here. We (used to) have a gas range with a broiler on the bottom, which means that it gets super HOT underneath anytime the oven is on. Real flames, my friends. I had never ever had an oven like this one before, and it always made me nervous, because it was easily accessed by little fingers. Just about a week ago Evelyn threw a sippy cup lid in there and after making some lunch our whole house stunk horribly of melted plastic. So when I smelled this plasticky smell I assumed it was just leftover lid plastic that we missed the first time.


Where our range is now! (I always hated you, broiler-on-the-bottom range.)

I turned the corner into our kitchen, and black smoke was chugging from the top of the stove. I, of course, flipped out! My first instinct was to get my babies out of the house, because I knew that it was going to stink really, really bad in a few minutes. So I called my mom and told her to hurry over to help me with the girls. I immediately turned off the oven and opened the door to see what the heck was going on. 

The thickest cloud of black smoke steamrolled out and I shut that oven door faster than lightening! I ran to put my girls in their bedroom and shut the door while I flew around throwing open doors and windows and flipping ceiling fans on. I had no idea at this point that our stove was actually ON FIRE. I just thought (don't ask me why) that something really big must've melted under there and we were going to have a smokey mess that I didn't want the girls breathing in.

Luckily it took just minutes for my parents to get to our house, and when they walked in they knew this wasn't a normal "Adrien burned the pizza" kind of accident. Even with the oven off the smoke continued to pour up and out of the stovetop. I honestly can't remember if it was my mom or dad who realized it, but someone shouted that the oven was on fire. My mom started screaming to get the girls out of the house.

We ran to the girls' room and swooped the babies up. Evie didn't even have pants or shoes on, so my mom rushed her outside into my parents' waiting truck while I took Grace in my arms and tried to get my neighbor's attention. (We live in a duplex, so if our house burns, so does theirs.) I rang the doorbell several times, and no one answered. Meanwhile, my mom is on the phone shouting at the 911 lady to hurry, hurry!

I put Grace inside the truck and ran back into the house, where my dad was. I only went back in to tell him to get the heck outta there, when I realized that my dad was trying to put the fire out. And this is where, in retrospect, things get kind of funny - even though at the time it was so not funny! My dad had the sprayer from the sink in his hands, and he was hosing the fire with it. My mom ran in the house, and all I can remember is her yelling that my dad was actually making it worse. We were both pleading with him to just get out. By this time, you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. I could barely even see the bright flames on the other end of the room. The entire kitchen was one giant cloud of black smoke.

I was thisclose to pulling my dad out by his ankles, when through the swirling ash I heard him say, "I got it out!"

With a huge rush of relief, I hurried back outside to my babies who were safe and sound in their car seats. My mom came to join me, and almost right away we saw the caravan of the firemen's trucks with their dashboard flashing lights come flying down the road. It was seriously like a movie. At first we thought they were going to drive by the house, but really they were turning around and practically blocking off the whole property from view, clearing the way for the firetrucks.

Since my mom and I knew that the fire was already out, we were slapping our foreheads and trying really hard not to laugh. (You know the kind...nervous laughter because just minutes before you thought all of your possessions and memories were about to go up in flames. Well...maybe you've never had to experience that exact nervous laughter, but you know what I mean!) Seconds later the massive, loud, flashing firetrucks were barreling down the street. I'm not kidding when I say that ten guys in full gear jumped at and swarmed my house like a SWAT team. In addition to the five or six guys who got there first, let's just say we made some great entertainment for all of the neighbors - some of them standing out on balconies to get a better look. How embarrassing. Oh, and our duplex neighbor...he decided to finally come outside when the firetrucks showed up. Poor guy; he was so confused!

So our house did not go down in flames, praise the Lord. But we did have a VERY eventful Saturday morning. The firemen brought in their huge fans and blew a lot of the heavy smoke out of the house. And if you don't know my dad, may not fully appreciate the fact that he told all the firemen as they were leaving that he hoped they were able to save the pizza. Sorry, dad. It was one charred black mess, and the pizza stone that it was on was warped...I didn't even know they could do that.

We opened everything up and left the house behind. There was no way I could take my babies back inside. After letting the place air out all day, we went back to evaluate the situation and realized that we couldn't stay at home Saturday night. Eric took the girls to his parents' house while I stayed home to pack our bags and take a quick shower. I had inhaled so much smoke that I spent a good part of the afternoon coughing, and at one point my mom looked at me and said, "Your nostrils are black." Um...yup. I blew my nose and it was full of ashy soot. Gross.

And I have to say that as I stood in the shower, alone in my own house, I felt very unsettled and uncomfortable. I honestly didn't think that the whole situation had affected me that much, but the hot water and the confined space was making me feel claustrophobic, and I just wanted to get the heck out of there. When we returned Sunday afternoon, I still got an eery feeling that I couldn't explain. That big empty space with the blackened walls gave me the willies.

My mom checked her phone later and saw that I called her at 11:36 am on Saturday. Sixteen minutes. In just sixteen minutes my entire life could have changed just from sticking a darn pizza in the oven. There are so many praise God's that it blows my mind and scares me to death when I think of how things could have gone terribly wrong.

Praise God this happened on a Saturday when my mom was off of work. And praise God that my dad came with her. She called 911 and my dad put the fire out. What would I have done without them?

Praise God that my parents got there quickly. They had no idea how bad it really was.

Praise God that my babies were taken out of the house unharmed.

Praise God that my dad got the fire out; the fire that was raging all around the gas line. I can't even imagine....

Praise God for our fire department, who came to our home so quickly. 

Praise God for my in-laws who opened up their home to us and helped us clean ours. 

Praise God that we were able to find a great deal on a replacement range so quickly which has a TOP BROILER and is even nicer than the one we had before. 

Praise God for everything!

One last look at our eery empty spot. Our new range is going in tonight!

I am not usually a fire-and-brimstone type of girl that tries to scare her friends into being a happy Jesus-follower by scaring them out of hell. It's not typically my style. But I'm telling you, because you ARE my friends, that if I ever hear someone tell someone else to "Go to hell," I'm seriously going to slug them in the mouth. If I got just a glimpse into what eternal fire is like, I wouldn't wish it upon my absolute worst enemy. Stuff like this makes you really take a deep gut-check, ya know? NO ONE is promised tomorrow. 

It's suffocating. It's hot. It's dehydrating. It stinks. It sears your lungs and singes your nostrils. Your eyes burn like crazy. And that's just from a fire in the oven. I can't imagine spending an eternity in a lake of fire with no relief. Nowhere to run. Not even a drop of water to quench your thirst. Praise God for the hope of eternal salvation, because I don't want to step one toe into the threshold of hell. No. Thank. You. And as your friend, if you have no clue what I'm talking about, or if you aren't sure where you are with God, then get your behind to my house and have some lunch with me and my girls, because we need to chat. :) And I PROMISE we will NOT eat pizza. Unless it's the delivery kind, because that I can do, haha.

Whew! What a week we've had! First Eric's car dies in the middle of a freezing cold rainstorm and he fears for his life for an hour as reckless cars zoom by on the interstate, and then the other three-quarters of our family escapes a smoke-filled burning home two days later. (Our trusty Lesabre, by the way, is getting a new life! We're having the engine rebuilt. The Buick will ride again!) We've had our share of excitement for a while, thankyouverymuch. Now if I could get my house to not smell like a just-blown-out candle, that would be fantastic!

And can I just sneak one more praise to God in here? Thanks. (Praise the Lord!)


Joyce said...


Anonymous said...

I believe you & Eric should make a sitcom. I'm sure it would be a great hit & all you would have to do is tell your day to day story.

Take Care
Greg & Joan

Alanna said...

Oh my goodness, that is scary! So glad you are all okay. God is good!

Heather Rahn said...

Crap...what a story. Glad everyone is okay!

Babysteps23 said...

Im glad you guys are ok, what a terrifying experience!

Cassie said...

WOW - yes PTL! So glad everyone is safe.
I agree with Greg, you guys MIGHT want to give TLC a call. lol. Just kidding.
Do you guys need anything?!?! Cleaning supplies? Laundry detergent to wash everything? I could only imagine how much cleaning there STILL is!! Please, let us know!!

Adrien said...

Thanks, everyone; Other than a bit of smoke inhalation everyone got out completely fine! Thank you so much for the offer, Cassie! We've just about got everything under control. We're painting and putting in the new range later today, and I'm finishing up the wash this morning. I'll just be glad to put this whole situation behind us!

Kim Luke said...

Whew! My heart was racing reading this entire post!!
I don't know your dad, but seriously I cracked up when you said you walked in and he had the hose from the sink. omg, so funny!!! i can't imagine!!
And then I lost it on all your Praise God's. I don't realize how much I take for granted until something like this happens to someone I know.
So glad everyone made it out safely! Glad to hear things are slowly getting back to normal!!

And if you got your own show, I'd watch!! :)


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