Nightmare On Em's Street- Thanksgiving '08
Late Thursday evening I was arousing from a glorious afternoon nap, that I achieved while the rest of my clan was off visiting other family members. I stretched slowly, like a contented, lazy feline, having been twice-stuffed from our earlier turkey dinner. I enhaled deeply, and started to snuggle more deeply under the cozy blankets for a few minutes longer.
Suddenly, I stopped in mid-sniff and coughed. WHat was that acrid, toxic smell invading my nose and even taste buds?! I sat up slowly, bl
I sprang out of bed, and went to my doorway. *Cough* It's not fog, Emmie! It's SMOKE! My mind hit a spin and then... went DULL! I calmly went over to the dresser and grabbed my glasses, and slid my feet into my black slippers. The next thing I did was COMPLETELY out of character! With deliberate care, I picked up my hoop earrings, I had been wearing earlier, and fastened them back in my ears! lol. I've heard smoke inhalation can cause one to do odd things, but THIS was insane!
Suddenly my body and mind sprang into action! I searched room to room for the source of smoke. I coughed, gagged, and opened a few windows along my passing. Nothing was on fire IN the house. That's when I remembered our only constant fire source--- the outdoor wood stove that heated our home from ducts underneath. I ran outside to our attatched carport where the stove sits, and found bright flames licking up the back wall.
I ran to the neighbors' house. A man and his teen grandson helped me unravel our water hose and bring it near the flames. Then I STOPPED the guys! I told them about the live electrical socket, plug extension, and wires that ran from the stove blower to our house wall. The man threw down the hose and hollered at his wife, " Call the Fire Department! Now!"
Here's where the Kudos go out to the guys and 2 gals in yellow! In less than 5 minutes these folks came, sirens blaring and lights flashing, to the rescue! Ok, there WAS a little over-kill with the two fire trucks, two spotter trucks, and an EMS backed into the neighbors'. But these folks had heart, dern it! lol
They shut off our electricity, turned off the gas because it was near the fire hazzard, and put the blaze out within minutes! The fire had started by our electrical blower freezing up, then burning the box around it, and was working its way up the house wall.
I stayed out of the way and on the sidewalk during most of this ordeal. I talked to my cousin, who'd shown up after hearing the fire call over a scanner! She commented on the thick smoke bellowing noticeably through the livingroom window. "Yeah, I woke up in that," I told her. One of the passing firemen heard my comment, glanced at the smoke, and stared at me. "Ma'am, do you need medical attention?" He asked. "HUH?" Was all my verbal skills allowed. " I mean, do you need oxygen or a breathing treatment?" I refused, and convenced him I was fine with an off-handed joke. ( he would've demanded it, if he'd known about me stopping for the earrings! lol)
The next 30 minutes were spent de-smoking my house with a power generated blower. IMPRESSIVE tool, I tell you! By the time the blower was done, and the firemen packed up, only watery ashes and my self-induced insomnia were left to remind me of this unforgetable Thanksgiving night!
And speaking of Thanks.... THANK YOU, kindly neighbors! And THANK YOU hometown volunteer fire department!
OH!... And even THANKS to my 1 a.m. paranoia/insomnia that night for continuously "smelling smoke", which sent me on a wild goose chase UNDER the house! (don't ask!) No fire, but I found the pipe leak that has caused our mysterious water bill increase for the past two months! Will wonders never cease???