I don't tend to do these kind of post but felt like getting this out of my system to prevent randomly screaming.
I had a fire a few months back. Right after I had just got done with the first year of a ten year mortgage. One moment I was mixing beer batter then the oil just catches fire like Satan was coming out of the pan. NO smoke, NO warning. I was actually checking to see how long it would be before it was hot enough for the onion rings and then flames.
Then my brother grabs the fire extinguisher and stands back and shoots. Instead of the smothering cloud that is supposed to come out it shoots a high powered thin jet that scatters flaming oil like a incendiary attack. Smoke is now pouring out and Mewlie is crying out in the living room.
I grab the phone and dial 911 while we head toward the door. At this point smoke is already everywhere. And we can hear popping and explosive sounds. I just have time to give my address and shout out that we have two cats who took cover inside. The dispatcher tries to be comforting and tell me she's going to keep me on the line until the firemen get there. Then a particualry loud pop indicated the fire burnt the kitchen wall enough to get the electric line and the phone dies.
Now we are outside and neither of us grabbed a cell phone. We have enough black smoke coming out we have neighbors gathering.
I admit I've never felt more like screaming at kids as I did the group of neighbor kids yelling like this was the most fascinating thing ever.
At this point I start feeling guilty not getting my pets out. I try to tell myself they are low to the floor and should be fine. Then I remember a sickening fact. Birds lungs are super effective at absorbing oxygen. Including toxins in the air. I regret not grabbing Zee's cage. I'm actually tempted to go back but the trucks show up.
All this seems to take forever but it's actually not long. Our fire station is so close that we could actually hear the dispatch radio. Yep, standing watching smoke pour out our home and we could hear a dispatch radio giving the call on a grease fire in a kitchen with pets still in the house. I've actually heard that radio a lot while working on my garden. Somehow it seems less real when you know they are talking about you.
The firemen come over and one runs in with a device. While another is talking to me my brother is off talking to neighbors. I give him the quick run over what happened and tell him about the pets. He assures me they will find them. Then the guy brings the portable extinguisher back and they start unrolling a hose. Turns out this is a bad sign. Some start taking it in. Others are prepping giant fans.
As I'm standing there they bring out Pokey the Red Herring, my red eared slider in his water tub first. Don't ask about the name.
He was in a stock tank closest to the door next to Zee's cage. Then they bring out Kasuga's cage. She's my albino rat who actually sits across from the stove. She's half gray but seems fine. They tell me they are having trouble finding the cats. I tell them to go ahead and tear everything to hell if they have to in order to find them.
The park manger shows up. He's only taken over the park in the past months. This is the first time I've really talked with him. Naturally I've talked with him several times over the past few months. He's very understanding and offers all the help the park owners will allow.
My brother comes over, a neighbor is letting us use her phone. I go in and call and explain things to our Mom. She agrees to come over as we aren't likely to be sleeping in the trailer. After I hang up the elderly neighbor is giving me words of comfort and offering to help.
My brother suddenly comes in and announces they found Mitzu. I thank the woman quickly and go out and see two paramedic over my cat in the grass. He's sitting in a sphinx postion with his mouth as far open as he can get it, his tounge lolling out. He tries to look around but they follow his face with a funny looking air mask. He has a streak of snot over his forehead.
My brother tells me later that when they brought him out and passed him to the paramedic he had been skeptical on his survival. He had so much snot on his face he thought it had somehow melted. When the paramedic said he'd be okay he had even made a Two-Face comment. It turns out this was a good thing. Snot is good. It meant he had been clearing out the fumes from his sinuses.
While they are clearing the smoke one of the firemen comes out let's me know they are still looking for the other cat. And that he's sorry but my cockatiel didn't make it. I had already guessed this.
I go back to the paramedics and Mitzu as they have removed the mask and he has his mouth shut. Mitzu looks around, looks under his feet, and tries to start crawling along the ground uncertainly. I run my hand on his back and the paramedic tells me I can pick him up. I actually find myself telling her he hates being picked up. Naturally I have no choice as he is indoor only and hasn't walked on earth and grass sense his kitten days. I guess he's still in shock and puts up with it.
The fireman come back and gives me good news and bad news. One of his men had his hands on Mewlie. Then she was gone. It seems she well enough to run but out of smoke and heat the strange men in big suits are the greater danger in her little kitty world.
My mom and our younger brother show up. I explain how it happened again. It's already getting old. We stand around for what seems forever. Well after the fire is out we can't go in until the meters indicate the air is safe. A neighbor comes over and gives me rabbit food for Kasuga and offers to help. Finally, they say we can go in and try to find Mewlie. I give Mitzu to my mom and me and my brothers go in. We look for Mewlie and look at the damage. I see Zee body in the corner of his cage.
I grab the cat carriers and take them outside. My mom thanks me as Mitzu is built sturdy and she said he was getting heavy. Mitzu rushes in. As I said he hates being held.
We grab a few things that seem less smoked or just seem important, some work clothes, our oldest Bibles, our personal laptops some books and a painting. We then grab the food from the fridge and freezer. In the search we can't find Mewlie. Unfortunatley they knocked screens out with the fans and someone is afraid they saw her running through the park. The neighbor and the manager say that they will put out an APB. The firemen have called animal control to take Zee's body and they say that they'll give them Mewlies description.
We go to my mom's and she makes the hamburger patties we were going to make. Afterward we hang out in my old bedroom which is now a storage room. Mitzu is making bisquits cat style like crazy and climbing all over us. He then stakes out a sleeping spot in the doorless closet between two storage crates.
Mitzu and me stay with my mom and my brother goes to stay with our dad and younger brother. A friend takes Pokey and Kasuga.
We go the next day and look through everything and look for Mewlies both in and out of the trailer. We head home only to get a call around noon. Apparently DURING THE NIGHT
Our younger brother had went to look in the trailer. He had assumed Mewlie was dead and didn't want me to be the one to find the body. He had shined the light on the stock tank and she had jumped out and ran through the trailer. So now several hours later we get the message. So we go back.
Mewlie is a momma's girl. I figure if we haven't found her with a group maybe she'll come out for just me. I search my brothers room, the small bathroom, my room, the living room the kitchen the office, the office closet and the master bathroom. I head back into the living room and Mewlie is in the hallway leading to the bedrooms I had searched first.
She's staring at me like I'm not real and even starts to run until I call her. Then she gets all happy and emotional and huggy. Then I ruin the moment by shoving her in a carrier. Mitzu went in readily the day before. Mewlie wasn't leaving that trailer easily.
A trip to the vet for both turned up Mitzu and his snotting everywhere and getting the air mask left him with a smoke smelling coat. Mewlie with her "AAHH strange people people run. I'm not leaving my home!!" attitude lost 25% of her right lung compacity for a couple of weeks.
Me and my brother lost our home, most of our electronics, clothes, furniture. The bad part is the fire got the kitchen area. Over half of our stuff we lost was to smoke. You hear of smoke damage but you have no clue until you see it. A plastic chemical smelling smoke that coats and embeds itself into everything. Our desktop, game systems, cooking gear, couch, beds. Also it leaves a weird miasma in the building.
I'll not bore you with the details of the insurance and claims adjusters, other than they are deceitful pieces of :censor:
But three months later and after becoming aquainted to an attorney and his secretary we got our insurance checks yesterday evening. Once we get the trailer moved off the lot hopefully we can get our new place. I find somehow coming close to the end of the disaster sets off all new stress instead of killing it. I found out yesterday the new trailers for sell are more than the old one I was buying. I'm looking at a thousand more down payment and hundred more a month. We can swing well enough but we have to have the trailer moved by our choice to save on the payoff check and give up on most take out pizza and Chinese.
To end this little rant here is stuff I learned.
1- I'm buying a deep fryer. I'm not cooking above sauté on the stove.
2- People give stupid advice during personal disasters. Someone actually thought I should sue the fire department for 'unnecessary damage'. I haven't talked to him since.
3- Some people can not take a hint you do not want to tell them how your problem is going EVERY DAY.
4- If you lock two cats in a small room it is hard to sleep in that room.
5- I don't have the slightest urge to get cable even after seeing it for three months. (why is there a mud based reality show on animal planet)
6- I really miss my desk.