Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Chapter 7 1/2: What now?

.......well, what now?

The fire person walked us through everything and asked James a hundred questions to make sure he hadn't set the house on fire on purpose.

As it turned out, James had been cooking some french fries or other greasy potato product in oil on the stove when Jen-pa called needing a ride home from work. James quickly turned the burner off and rushed off (french fries in hand) to pick up Jen. That's pretty much exactly what happened except the part about turning the burner off. That was actually when he accidently turned the burner under the hot oil to "high". The origin of the fire was obviously coming from that pan of hot oil that had apparently caught fire and ignited the cabinets.

In chapter 7, i told you about the heroic man who resorted to firefighting by water hose. The fire man said that the fire was pretty much extinguished by the time the fire truck even arrived. And because of that man, the fire never left the kitchen. The rest of the house "only" had smoke damage.

If anyone ever uses the word "only" to describe smoke damage to you, don't be fooled. As we looked around, we thought we could probably stay the night in our bed and figure out the rest in the morning. Emotionally drained, we tried to sleep. We had no power, no light, and the horrible odor of smoke the permeated our house quickly made sleeping impossible, and James made the final decision when he found it painful to breathe because of the thick air.

So we gathered what money we had and got in the car and went to find someplace to stay for the night. We found a very small hotel room where the nice lady in the office agreed to let us rent the room for the one person rate, so that we would have something left over. So we were able to sleep and shower and try to gather our thoughts. And we started making phone calls from the hotel to find some place where we could rent maybe something furnished until we could get into an apartment. We were grasping at straws, but it turned out that the hotel right next to the one we were staying in was actually once an apartment complex, but now they furnished the apartments and rented them by the day, week, or month. Now, you might not think that sounds so great, but we thought it sounded FANTASTIC. And when we went and checked the place out, it was fantastic. See, as we started to try to salvage things from our rent house, we found that pretty much everything was definitely damaged. Here's the part where you shouldn't be fooled about "just smoke damage." Soot was everywhere and in everything. It made it's way into closed boxes, the venting on the back of electronics, clothes, everywhere. We ended up throwing away a computer, a VCR, a coffee many things that we were sure we could salvage. Anything plastic that you use in the kitchen is now pretty much poisonous.

At any rate. While all this was going on, Jen found some place else to stay ( i don't remember where), and when she came back to collect her things, we found God had done a miracle.

******side track******
one of the things that broke my heart the most was that jen had to go through a fire. maybe not the way we had, but i wanted our home to be a safe place for her. i remembered how hard it was to lose everything i had, and i grieved that jen had found herself in that place in our home.

When Jen went to get her things, we found that nothing of hers was damaged. Her door had been shut during the fire, and her clothes did not even smell of smoke. Thank you Jesus! He is so good and merciful!

God kept us, and the three of us were soon living in a 2 bedroom 2 bath hotel apartment at the Lodge Motel. All bills paid and paying less rent than we had been in our rent house. Again, as i said, that might not sound great to you, but we had a clean safe place to live. It felt like home, and when we left, it was very hard for me to leave.

Ok, that's enough for now.

And for those of you who are apparently keeping a time line, this was August 2004. We lived happily at the Lodge Motel until March 2005.


  1. 'beth

    God sure is molding and making us into beautiful vessels for His glory, isn't He???

    Can't wait to hear more...

  2. Enjoyed having lunch with you today. You are a special little sister to me...


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