Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Fire #4 - Prevented

Last evening, August 7, 2007, i was lying on my bed around 9 pm when i thought i heard my husband come in the house. He had been visiting a friend who lives in our apartment complex.

I dosed off briefly and then woke back up to some popping noises in the other room. I assumed it was my husband, and i called out to him, but i didn't get an answer. So i got up and started looking for him. The popping noise was coming from the bathroom, but the door was closed. I stood at the bathroom door and called to him, but he still didn't answer, and since he didn't answer, and i saw flashing lights from inside, i kicked the door open, not knowing what was going on.

When i opened the door, i saw small flames/really big sparks falling from the ceiling. I looked up and saw a very small fire contained (for now) in the fan in the ceiling.

You know the fan i'm talking about, right? The one you turn on to help eliminate unpleasant odors from your bathroom... Well, ours hasn't been working for some time, and we simply don't turn it on. However, one of our hands apparently did not consult with one of our brains before turning it on and leaving it on sometime yesterday evening.

The next part of the story is a little bit blurry. At first, i wanted some way to smother the fire and realized that wasn't going to work - nevermind that fact that i couldn't reach that high. I ran back and forth for a little bit - looking for something to put the fire out with and then immediately going back to make sure the fire wasn't getting bigger. And it wasn't.

I'm sure you can imagine the images that flashed through my mind when i saw those flames. You might also imagine how absolutely determined i was to NOT have Fire #4! I'm against Fire #4.

In my running back and forth, i remembered that several months or a year ago, the apartment complex installed some fire extinguishers on the outside of the building. I ran out onto my porch (in my night clothes) to find that none of those extinguishers were planted by my apartment (if only they knew, they'd put three right outside my door).

My mind was arguing with itself about whether to call my husband or 911. I opted for my husband.

J: Hey what's up?
B: Where are you?
J: Over at Jason's. Why? What's up?
B: Get a fire extinguisher off the wall and get here RIGHT NOW!
J: What the....

I continued to give directions and information to a dead line. My husband is wonderful in fast action and was in our aparment immediately. Jason's apartment is kind of across the complex, so i know he ran fast.

During all of this, somehow it seemed like a good idea to catch the giant sparks/small flames with a towel. I think this stemmed from my desire to smother the fire that i couldn't reach. I also wanted to make sure that none of those little flames reached something more ignitable than the toilet seat. So i was catching them on the floor with the towel and smothering them with the same towel. The flames were dropping like thick candle wax. It was a little bit like someone put a candle up there and got it really hot. While i was catching the flames, one of them caught me on that place on the outside of your thumb, right where the bone is that connects it to the rest of your hand.

After James got there and put out he fire, i was standing on my porch (escaping the oxygen killing dust of the fire extinguisher) when i looked down and saw two little black char marks on my hand. So... i picked 'em right off. Now there's no skin there...but it was only the outside layer of skin. It didn't even bleed, which is good and bad because the open spot is very sensitive, so i have to keep a bandaid on the place that doesn't hold bandaids very well. =)

I spent a large portion of the evening attempting to clean up the yellow, life-saving, fire-preventing, thick powder off of everything in my bathroom. But the whole time, i was kind of jubilant inside. I kept saying to myself, "Fire #4, prevented." It's a weird kind of victory for me. When you've seen as many fires in as short a time as i have, you kind of begin to assume that it has some kind of spirtual significance (you do if you're me anyway). And this one was prevented.

**Many thanks to our good friends Meredith and Jeremy who seem always to be available when we have some crazy crisis. This time, they let us borrow their vacuum cleaner to suck up the crazy dust. God always shows us His love through Meredith and Jeremy. =) **

Thank You, Lord! Thank You so very much!

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