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|talithe (profile) wrote, |
on 2-3-2006 at 3:26pm
|Music: The 69 Eyes -- Brandon Lee
Subject: The Roof, the Roof, the Roof was on Fire
|It was Friday morning, January 20. I awoke to the intro of "Wings of a Butterfly" by HIM: my ringtone. It was my sister asking me how the fire was. "What fire?" I asked her. Apparently a 'little' fire broke out at the house while I was staying with Jonathan, and my sister thought I was home. I don't recall what happened next, just that I was out the door and on my way to the fire. I called my dad and asked what was going on and I just remember him saying, "Don't even think about your things, it's all gone." It's all gone..? I told him I was on my way and hung up the phone. I then proceeded to call Jonathan who I left stunned and confused back at his house. I immediately broke out in tears and told him everything was gone.. my things, all gone. Five minutes later, with Jonathan still on the other end, I get onto the overpass by my house and could see black smoke coming from that direction. But what scared me more was the flames I saw on top of the roof. I pulled up my road and parked several houses down; the street was packed with cars on both sides -- many waiting to drive past the four firetrucks to get to their homes. I saw one guy sit in his truck for over an hour.
I quickly thought to take a picture on my phone, which I would later send to our insurance representative, who'd asked for pictures. I saw my father and he again told me not to bother with anything inside the house, that it was futile. To console me, he said everything in the house is insured and that we can get my computers. I reminded him that at least $2000 of the insured budget would go into my computers and networking. He smiled and told me everyone was staying at our neighbor's house across the street -- the one who called 911. I rushed over and knocked on the door, trying hard not to show signs of emotional weakness or hopelessness. The lady answered the door and welcomed me inside, quite possibly in the kindest way imaginable to me. I saw my mother sitting on the floor crying and I went down to hug her, trying even harder to supress tears. My two sisters were there, along with my neice and two paramedics checking for smoke inhalation. Everyone was in good health except for Cynthia, who was in the house with Hazel, my neice, when the fire started. Cyndy had high blood pressure but refused to go to the hospital, probably because of money shortage. My father later told Cyndy that her blood pressure was as high as his when he had his heart attack. Then again, Cyndy used to be a nurse. She knew what it meant.
After the firemen left, and after our neighbors and friends consoled us greatly, we assessed the back of the house which looked pretty awful. The side of the living room was gone, the ceiling had a new sky-light, and there was so much soot and water in the living room it was devastating to look at. Scared to find my belongings ablaze, but needing to know, I carefully head over to my room down the hallway. I open the door and stand in complete amazement. It was untouched. Water was leaking from the light socket in the ceiling, but everything was just as I left it last night. The only problem was the smoke damage.
Down the street from our house is an Inn, so we rent two rooms and begin to fill our cars with our things. I take the two computers, my modem and router, and a lot of my clothes, knowing everything could get ruined if it rained hard enough or people decided to poke around. Cyndy later laughs that we all took the one thing that meant most to us. Cyndy: her baby, Kevin: his video games, Cathy: her work uniforms, and me? My computers.
Within hours of the fire, our insurance company had already written us a check for the weekend. With that we could pay for the Inn rooms and laundry there. I began to set up my computer in one room, removing the cable from the television and hooking it up into my modem. Two cat5 cables later I've got my happiness back as the computer turns on with only minor sounds, which I later found came from a cable rubbing against an inner fan. Easy fix.
Since that night we've moved to two more temporary living facilities (like the hotel I am in now), and in two days we will move to a temporary house that we can hopefully stay at until our house has been rebuilt. Which I hear is looking at four months.
I've been pretty composed through all of this. The day after the fire I worked five days straight. It was hectic but it wasn't impossible to do. On the second day I had thrown up in the morning, and I'm still not sure what caused it. A lady from work mentioned it could have been the stress. Whatever it was, I had to deal with because I couldn't get sent home. Sent to the hotel, rather. Right now I'm dealing with a cold that I just conveniently caught on my day off, yesterday. Tomorrow I will have to work two days in a different work position because our staff is short. More exact, I will be serving food -- with a cold. I've considered calling in tomorrow and Sunday, but again we are working short, and I called in last Saturday to pack my things. I'm sure they will understand, and I would really prefer not to handle food with a sickness. But I just don't know.
Today was the first time I broke down "after the fact". I don't know if it was the whole moving thing, which gets me stressed, or the cold, or the lack of sleep, or the thought of sharing a bed with my mother. Could be a privacy thing. For so long I've felt like I had little to no privacy. (My room door was broken for a few years and wouldn't close.) I'm just stretched a little thin right now, but I got to talk to a good friend today which got me smiling. I got to see Jonathan and talk to him while he was at work also, which I appreciate greatly. I'm trying to stay positive, but I'm finding it a little hard at times. I sigh a lot.
"What would there be as the river of sadness turns into sea
Could there be another thousand stories like you and me"