When I decided to share our first house with y’all, I felt like we really needed to because it has shaped so much of who we are. It’s been almost 9 years, but writing (actually just thinking through writing) this post has been really emotional.
We bought the house in March 2005. October 2005 we had a house fire.
Our alarm clock malfunctioned and created a smoldering fire. There was not a lot of open flame, so it was mostly smoke damage. The house had zero visibility when the firefighters entered.
I was at work. Nick had class in the morning, went home to have lunch and let the dog out, then headed to work. Over the next couple of hours the house was destroyed. Our neighbor didn’t have a number for us, so he called the previous owners who called their real estate agent who called our real estate agent aka my mom.
When I found out I scream Isabella – our dog – and ahead home. I called 911 to let the firefighters know there was a dog in the front bedroom. At this point we had no idea what had happen or the extent of the damage was (I mean Nick had just been home how bad could it be?). Nick got to the house before I did. When I asked about Isabella, he just cried.
This is in the hallway to our bedroom. The closer you got to the bedroom the blacker things were. Since the house was not very big, everything was ruined from the smoke.
When the firefighters entered, they sprayed different areas of the house. The ceiling in the living room fell from the weight of the water. There was lots of wall damage from them checking for hot spots. All of our furniture was pushed in the middle of the room.
That’s the ceiling on the living room floor. There was a mess of drywall, insulation, and ash everywhere. Plus it was wet and mushy.
The cabinets actually looked better with the ash. Notice that we had painted the kitchen red to offset the flesh cabinets. It was an improvement, but I will never paint red again. So many coats. We had also installed a microwave/vent hood to save countertop space. All of the minor changes/updates we had made in the 8 months of living there were ruined.
You could see where every nail in the drywall was. They said it was from the heat. You could also see every imperfection in the wall where there had been patches.
This was the bathroom on the other side of the house. Everything was covered black and wet. You could smell smoke as soon as you turned on our street. We literally had nothing but the clothes we had on. We went to Target and bought some essentials. Then checked into a hotel. Once we laid down the magnitude of the day just settled on us. Then came more and more tears just when we thought we didn’t have any left. We had buried our dog and lost everything we had in a few hours.
I can’t even begin to describe the weight of those emotions. It has changed us in ways we probably won’t ever realize. It might be why Nick and I cling to each other as viciously as we do. We had nothing but each other and were about to begin our first huge remodel with heavy hearts.