This has been the longest day of my life! I was awakened at 12:30 am by the smoke alarm. My husband and I ran upstairs to discover smoke coming from the attic door. We grabbed the children, threw them in the car, called 911 and ran back in to get clothes for me and our computer (can't lose the digital pictures) When we were trying to run out, I tried to turn on the lights in the front of the house, because we still had power to the back of the house. It was clear that the power was not available because our back up battery for the computer was beeping. So we assume something happened with the electrical wires that go to the front of the house and caused a fire in the attic.
Because I watch "This Old House" regularly, I knew of the dangers that lie in my "Old House" The wood shingles were not replaced, but covered with a metal roof... causing a huge fuel source to now have protection from the fire hoses, insulation to build heat and a reflector to point the fire down at the house. Also, houses of my style (Craftsman) often used a different way of putting together load bearing walls, making the homes as durable as the Victorians but creating air pockets from the walls to the attic and between the floors. So this makes a fire in the downstairs "wick" instantly up the walls, or a fire in the attic or second floor force hot air into the wall space "Candling" down like a wick into the walls and setting the whole house on fire.
This added up to our second floor being completely devastated, our ceiling of the first floor being torn through and the entire north wall of the home (almost 100 feet long) being charred from the inside out.
When I looked back at the house, I saw the attic was already engulfed, and the firefighters added air to the attic to vent it, I knew the structure was gone. I assumed that we lost everything. I took the kids over to Jason and Becky's home and when they were settled I planned on going to the hospital for smoke inhalation. Jason and I went at around 3 am. When we returned, almost all of our belongings were thrown out the windows and stacked neatly in three places. We have been able to store the many things the wonderful firefighters saved.
We lost all things upstairs ( I will post a list later) and all our beds, bedding and couches. We have most of our clothes (Firefighters took the other computer and the dressers out first) and many of the kids toys that were downstairs in the TV room. My little brother Isaac called to make sure our Nintendo Game cube made it out. We just haven't plugged it in to try it yet!
While we have tons of offerings for used things, we will post a list of things we would appreciate be new in order to weed out thrift store and garage sale dropout donations. We have already received a few donations that make my eye twitch.
But for those who cannot donate new things to our cause, feel free to send bubbles, bubble bath, a baggies of balloons, dollar store sunglasses, fingernail polish and sidewalk chalk... you know, stuff that would make my girls feel happy.
Also, please pray for us while we search for a new home. We are looking at any and all possibilities for rental and purchase in Westwood. We are very passionate about fixing up the parsonage the correct way and not the cheap (Hey I think my uncle Earl can do that) way. Currently we are staying with Becky and Jason and in total that makes 11 people and 1 bathroom. I currently am unable to sleep because of the pain in my throat from the smoke... our home and the wildfires 4 miles away. If I am not upright to swallow regularly, I cough until I am upright. So sleep and healing prayers for me please.
I am going to buy some throat coat tea tomorrow and see if that helps... But as for now (4:16 am) I will prop myself up on the love seat and see if I can doze off for a while.