We sat down to dinner last night about 15 minutes after Kerry got home from work. A couple bites in, both Kerry and I smelled something burning, so we quickly got up to investigate. And Kerry discovered his car was on fire … sitting right under the deck and next to the wall of the house. We commanded the kids to stay right where they were in the kitchen and sprang into action. While Kerry grabbed the fire extinguisher, I called 911 and ran to get the hose from the garden.
Kerry spent the next fifteen minutes (in socks and a t-shirt, no less) dousing the car and house with cold spring water from the hose, while both of us prayed mightily that the car wouldn’t explode. He couldn’t get to the source of the fire because the hood wouldn’t open (the mechanism just gave way in his hand) and couldn’t get the fire put out. Acrid smoke was billowing everywhere. We could hear and see the fire engines coming from down the mountain, which was comforting.
Then about ten volunteer firefighters and the sheriff invaded in their gear. A very welcome sight. It took three or four of them in gas masks several minutes of yanking and crow-barring before they were able to rip the hood up on the car and get the fire put out.
I’m so thankful for neighbors who are willing to jump up from whatever they’re doing on a Monday night and race to help in a crisis. It brought back memories of growing up in a small town and seeing most of the men jump in their trucks to answer a distress call whenever the alarm went off. I really, really appreciate our local volunteer fire department.
Meanwhile, the kids actually obeyed perfectly and stayed in the dining room the entire time. As things were wrapping up, one of the firefighters did look up into the window and remark, “I hope your curtains are strong.” Which is when I noticed the boys were hanging on them. But that was pretty mild compared to what they might have done. The firefighters invited them all to come down and sit in the firetruck, which was awesome, of course.
We’re also so thankful the fire didn’t start later in the evening, when we might not have noticed it until it got to the house. (Shudder.) God protects us from so many horrible possibilities.
Meanwhile, Kerry’s car is toast. Literally. So we’re in the market for a different vehicle. Anyone selling a used pick-up truck?