The Day I’ll Never Forget

October 22, 2008, is a day I’ll never forget. It was just a typical Wednesday for my future husband and I. We had a normal dinner, relaxed, and went to bed. Little did we know that night would changes our lives forever.

Around midnight my boyfriend woke up to popping sounds in our house. Not thinking much of it, he got up and proceeded to our living room. The popping sounds got louder and as he looked outside our living room window he saw flames coming from the side of our house. He rushed into our bedroom screaming “fire, fire, fire!!!” I scrambled to get up, looked at the clock, and noticed our electricity was out. I frantically found my cell phone and ran out to the living room. I could smell the smoke increasing by the second. Looking out the window I could see the flames coming from the basement and through the side of the house and starting to blaze through the living room wall. Not realizing it was electrical we attempted to put the fire out but it grew by the second. Being first-time homeowners, we never thought to keep a fire extinguisher in the house. I dialed 9-1-1 and immediately looked for our cat Billy. Knowing him he was scared and hiding under the bed but without electricity, I could not see him. We both knew we had to get out and look for help, FAST! With the operator on the phone we ran to our neighbor’s one by one banging on any door that would answer as we searched for a fire extinguisher!

I stood outside on a cold October early morning shivering with fear and not knowing the outcome. My house was on fire with my cat and all my possessions inside. A police officer arrived before the firetrucks and my boyfriend pushed for him to use his fire extinguisher, which the officer did, but it was too little too late. I could see the flames shooting out of the side of the house and moving from the main floor (our basement) to the living room (second floor). The smoke was pouring out of the front door where the Halloween decorations, we had just put up, once stood. All I could think of is why us, why is this happening, what did we do? Firetrucks and ambulances arrived and took over the street. I remember screaming at them, “No one is inside, just our black cat Billy”. We watched as a dozen firemen entered our home. Neighbors brought over blankets, socks, and jackets as we stood there shivering from the cold, fear, and shock.

With what seemed like an eternity, a fireman finally came out of the house with our cat Billy who was just fine. Back then we were both young without any children so Billy was our baby. After about two hours from when the fire first started we were informed of the damage. The fire started in the basement bathroom fan and spread through the floor to our living room wall and up through the roof. The fire left a hole in our floor almost half the size of our living room. Although our electricity was out due to an electrical fire, our batteries were dead in our smoke detectors so they never went off to warn us. I thank God, to this day, that my husband woke up because if he had not we might not be here today. The fire caused about $120,000 in damages. The entire house had to be gutted and it took over 6 months to rebuild our home.

A good time to remember to check your smoke alarm and change the batteries is when you change your clocks twice a year for daylight savings.

November 5, 2017, is Daylight Savings. Please remember to ALWAYS check your smoke detectors- IT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!!