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It Won't Happen To Me

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I don’t know why we let ourselves think that way ...

This past Saturday, I came home from the store and unloaded a few things.  In less than two minutes, a stranger rang the doorbell and said “Did you know your house is on fire?”  I thought – “No way.  It’s 1 yr old, brick, vinyl, I don’t mess with my limits ...” By the time I ran around the side, flames were jumping 4 feet above the fence right at the corner of the house and starting to melt the soffit.  A kid had done something foolish.  The woman’s husband had jumped out of his truck and tried to turn the hose on it.   For the first time ever it didn’t work – not one drop. 

My next thought was the fire extinguisher Wayne had instructed us to buy in his book.  I ran out back with it and it was empty (10 years old).    Fortunately, I had doubled the length of the hose on the other side of the home and it reached.  By that time, the soffit had melted and flames were starting to invade the attic; all in less than five minutes. 

I was incredibly lucky – if the checkout line had been longer; if I had hit one more red light; or if the new neighbor, who was moving in and busy, hadn’t happened by, seen it, or bothered.  Even stranger, a week earlier I had found that the mortgage company didn’t pay the home owner’s premium on time and insurance had temporarily lapsed.  (The hose that didn’t work had crimps in it that in the rush, no one noticed. But it had never completely stopped up before ...)  Though it was out by the time the fire dept. got here (another 5 – 8 minutes), they spent 20 minutes inspecting the house and attic with heat sensors and such to make sure things were OK.  I learned from that too.   

So before I sign off the list one last time, I thought it less than foolish to say – please check your safety equipment and don’t take anything for granted.  Flame your culms in a safe place ... we all know the drill; just have be diligent.   I bought new much larger 10 year extinguisher this morning.  

I probably couldn’t have been more fortunate.  One of my kids, three much-loved dogs, and a cat were in the home.  Needless to say, I am humbly and gratefully counting my blessings.  Please make sure you don't have to count yours ...   (Mark Evans)



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