Sunday, January 24, 2010

IT REALLY CAN HAPPEN SO FAST...


Last Tuesday morning, my 3 1/2 year old and I stayed home from his ECFE Preschool class as we both had colds. As I was making lunch I sent him upstairs to get dressed in the clothes that I had laid out for him. Soon the fire alarm went off, I thought it was perhaps the remnants of my Paula Deen Sweet Bacon Bites from the night before that I had left to soak in a pan sitting on the stove being burnt by the heat of the oven below. I soon figured out that this was not it, I went upstairs to find my 3 year olds lampshade in flames with the lamp still on. (He later admitted to putting Kleenex on top of the shade/light bulb and seeing baby fire.) I thought I had put the fire out by beating in with a blanket. I shut the door and went downstairs to check on William and called the fire dept to have someone check out the situation. Then I went back upstairs to discover the fire had grown and spread to the bed frame and mattress. At this point, I called the fire dept back in a bit of a panic after discovering larger flames and then got the fire extinguisher and put the fire out finally. I left the window closed , closed the door (I found out these were both good things after the fact) to the room and went to wait for the fire department. (Fortunately, at this time my neighbors came and got William.) When the fire department arrived, they carried out the smoldering mattress which they had to ax open and shovel full of snow to get the fire totally out and also the burnt bed frame and lamp.

Since then, we have been very fortunate to have the situation handled by a very competent recovery company that our insurance agent had at our house a half an hour after the fire department left. We are now left with painting, carpeting and a lot of paperwork and other oddities but all safe and sound.

I don't think my first choice of trying to beat the fire out with the blanket may have been the best, since I actually knocked it on the floor... Maybe I should've gotten closer to smother it by wrapping the lamp, gotten the extinguisher right away, who knows.... But I'm sharing this to make the point that if I didn't have a fire extinguisher in my house, or know where it was, the outcome of this situation could have been very different... much worse- because it really does happen so fast.

So do you have fire extinguishers in your house, and does everyone know where they are? I'll be buying the rather unattractive and oh so obvious wall mount straps for a few new ones in my house... and I'm going to be sure they are the type that are suitable on all fires. (After I called my parents to tell them, they discovered they had some not suitable for electrical fires.)

Here is a link to info about the different types of fires and fire extinguishers... looks like I need a few different types?!

20 comments:

Jackie Davis said...





My husband and I are safety nuts! I am so glad you are sharing knowledge (experienced and researched!). SO glad you are all ok!!!
*hugs*
Jackie

Rose.W. said...





I am so glad no one was hurt. That was quick thinking on your part, I don't know if i would have reacted as calmly had it been me.

Thank you for posting this, I am off to get some fire extinguishers now, you have given me a real wake up call.

Jackie said...





Oh my gosh!! My heart is just pounding for you! So glad this turned out okay and everyone is alright. Yes, we do have an extinguisher. Good thing!!

allsewnup said...





Glad to hear all of you are ok. Definitely a lesson for all of us here. Check those fire extinguishers folks and if you don't have at least one maybe skip the chocolates and flowers this Valentine's Day and give the ones you love some peace of mind...buy a fire extinguisher instead.

Carolyn

Melissa said...





How awful for you! Thank you for sharing your story. We always have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen which we keep under the sink, but have commented on the fact that it often ends up way at the back behind everything else including the trash can. It really isn't enough to just have one!

Needled Mom said...





Oh my goodness, but that had to be a terrifying accident. Yes, they can happen so quickly. I am going to go check to make sure my extinguisher is still charged correctly. Thanks for the reminder.

Lois Grebowski said...





You are so lucky to have the extinguisher in your home. Also, glad to hear everyone is okay and that your child won't be traumatized by this.

Yes, we have one in our home and in our RV. I need to get one for my car.

PASS -- Pull Aim Squeeze and Sweep

Brenda said...





So glad that you and your family are ok. Fire extinguishers are a wonderful thing.

Poppyprint said...





Wow. I must admit when I saw the photo I felt an instant panic in my chest and I don't even really know you! I'm very happy you and William are ok and that your home is standing. We've got one extinguisher in the kitchen, in the corner..but the real key here was your smoke detector going off. So many people remove batteries from theirs and they are so crucial. We got hard-wired ones put in during our last renovation. They are darn sensitive, but I feel very secure. Thanks for sharing, and congratulations on your fast-acting mommy skills! Phew.

Heidi said...





Wow.. I got teary just reading that. We do have fire extinguishers but I've always wanted to get ladders since we have a two story house. I'm going to be looking online for some today.

I'm so glad that your experience has become a lesson to others rather than a horrible tragedy! I'm glad you are all safe!

Jenny said...





oh my word. I am so glad everything worked out OK. what a scray lesson to learn. I double checked for my fire extinguisher and it is where I thought it was...thanks for the reminder.

Barb said...





What a scarey time...you were lucky that you went back up into the room the second time.....glad all turned out okay...and everyone was safe.

Rafael's Mum said...





I am SO glad you are both ok and nothing worse happened. you must subconsciously have know that closing doors and windows was the best thing. well done keeping a cool head! Funnily enough we don't have a fire extinguisher in the house... I have one in the car, and about 3 or 4 in the boat... but not in the house... not really thought about it... (do have smoke alarms) but definitely a wake up call.. thank you for sharing this!

Susan said...





Oh, Karen, my heart is pounding just reading about this. I'm so glad that everything turned out OK but still- very scary and it'll be a long time before you can hear a smoke detector without freaking. I know, we had a house fire in a rental while we were building this house. The cat and I would both freak out when DH would test one or it would go off.

Yes, we have big honkin' fire extinguishers all over the house and detectors, too. (Did you know- you should shake the extinguishers every now and then and you should get new detectors every 10 years or so?) It's true. DH was a fireman and instructor for a while and he knows all this stuff. And we have a ladder upstairs, too. I'll never be as confident as I was before our house fire. (Bad wiring, no ground, kitchen went up in flames and I found it when I got home just in the nick of time, able to put it out, rescue the cat, run to the school as we had no phone to call the FD and then moved out of that firetrap the same day.) The smell of burning formica was in everything we had, took forever to air out.

Again, I'm so glad you were all OK and the damage was fairly minimal.

Megan said...





So scary, especially with a 3 year old! We had a fire at our house a few years ago, and the fire extinguisher was from the previous owners, last dated 1983!! We now have a brand new one, learning our lesson. Glad all are ok!

LeKaQuilt said...





I'm so glad to hear that no one was hurt and that all of you is OK.

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...





How scary!! First I am so happy that you are all okay Karen!! And then thank you for sharing and reminding me to check out our fire extinguisher situation!

amandajean said...





oh my goodness! i'm so glad that you guys are safe and sound. that. is. scary.

Red Geranium Cottage said...





OHHHH my goodness. How scarey that must have been. Thank goodness you had that fire extinguisher. Good for you. I'm happy everyone is ok.

Candied Fabrics said...





I'm so glad you're all okay. 34 years ago a fire broke out in the middle of the night - luckily i woke up and told my Mom I couldn't breathe, and we all got out ok, but 4 rooms were totally destroyed and the whole house had major smoke damage. This was back before people even HAD smoke detectors! Our family was the 1st one on the block to have them when the house was restored!