Maybe I’ll Catch Fire

Three years ago today is the anniversary of the phone call I got informing me my house was burning down.

That early morning conversation that woke me from a restful slumber is still vivid in my memory. The sight of flames engulfing my house, the smell of charred wood and the sound of the firefighters calling to one another as they sprayed water over every inch of the structure.


Then the one room untouched by the fire was robbed as we stood outside the house with the insurance adjuster after taking a brief walkthrough. The thief got away with a laptop and tv that were in the back bedroom. A sign of how low some people really are.

A few hours after that smoke started coming out of the roof line, apparently the firefighters hadn’t fully put out the fire and it has been smouldering along the roofline the entire time. By the time they arrived again there were open flames visible in a gaping hole in the roof. They were extra thorough the second time, every inch of the main floor and second level were covered in flame retardant foam. Every window smashed, every appliance previously undamaged was knocked over and destroyed. Nothing but the untouched boiler in the basement could be salvaged now. Total loss.


It was the epitome of a Halloween trick. A punk kid who was pissed we called the cops on him after he stole a car so he lit something on fire and threw it through our mail slot and into a pile of flammable junk mail next to oil based primer and some couches on our enclosed front porch. At least that’s what we think happened, they didn’t really try to investigate very much, they wanted husband to say he was smoking on the front porch or something and they seemed annoyed when he wouldn’t agree to lie.

Luckily the sound of the paint cans exploding woke husband from his slumber in the back bedroom, that and the plastic vapor barrier he’d put up in front of the bedroom door saved his life or he would have died from smoke inhalation long before the flames got him.

No one ever took the blame for this and I couldn’t even tell you if the investigation was ever closed out because we are never told anything when it comes to things like this. I just know that each Halloween this has become the predominant memory that stands out in my mind.

Happy Halloween, stay safe today.




17 thoughts on “Maybe I’ll Catch Fire

  1. How awful 😦 My sister’s house burned down too, and unfortunately her dog died from inhalation, even tho the firefighters tried to resuscitate it .
    I am glad no-one died in your fire. So annoying that the idiot who started it was not brought o justice.
    And maybe it would be easier to bear, if it was not on such a memorable date.
    I press “like” but only to show you I have read your post.

  2. I’m so sorry… I also clicked like just to show I’ve read. My brother lost his house to fire too and made it out with only his dog and the underwear he was sleeping in. Everything about this situation is so hard. 😦

    • Yeah, it was a shocking ordeal, frustrating fight with insurance and devastating experience with shady contractors upon rebuilding. Glad to hear your brother made it out safe though, houses can be rebuilt and belongings replaced (to an extent) but pets and people are irreplaceable.

  3. I can sympathize with you. Good friends of ours went through something similar due to a chimney fire. House was a totally write-off. They went through hell, between haggling with the insurance and dealing with shady contractors.
    Hopefully the worst is behind you now.

    • Thank you, I did get a brand new house out of the deal and the delight of living in a nice condo in my ideal neighborhood for a year while we fought with insurance till our new house was ready so that’s something.

    • It’s definitely one way to learn how to let go of your attachment to personal items. We were lucky in that many of the really important things were not in the house at the time since we were doing some renovations so the majority of what was lost were household items like furniture, clothes and dishes.

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