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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

fired up

so the first thing on my to-do list for this morning is to call our insurance agent and make sure our renter's insurance is up to date. yeah.

let me back up a little. the evening started off quite uneventfully, aside from a quickie trip to target for the teen to pick up the long-awaited nick jonas & the administration CD. she was one happy camper as she listened to all of the songs we'd heard him perform last week, and wasted no time in uploading to iTunes and then transferring to her iPod. the bean enjoyed the music too, listening carefully and pointing: "jonas brothers. nick jonas!"

i'd yanked a recipe for cheesy rice fritters with wilted spinach salad out of an old rachael ray magazine ages ago, and last night finally decided to give it a try. it was an easy recipe to make, and i managed to time it quite perfectly - the hub walked in right as i was getting ready to plate it all up. the teen took this picture for me, and i think it looks better than the one on the recipe. then again, i'm slightly biased.

the rest of the evening was normal - bubble bath for the bean, quick shower for the teen, a little tv, and then we all went to sleep.

but then around 12:45, i woke up to the sound of people running around outside and someone yelling. i kept my eyes shut, hoping it'd stop and i could get back to sleep, but then i heard more running and a voice that sounded quite harried say "let me tell you really quick what's happened." the next thing i knew, there were sirens that sounded like they were right outside our door, and my eyes finally popped open to the sight of flickering lights streaming in through the sliding glass doors. crap.

the hub woke up, took one look, and jumped right out of bed to see what was going on. he ran out onto the balcony and then came back.

"are you awake? we're not affected right now at least, but the building up near the front of the complex is on fire."

jigga-wha? the curiosity finally took over and i scurried out to join him on the balcony and see what was happening. here's a sight you never want to see, in the middle of the night, practically on your doorstep:

smoke was pouring out of the building, and we could hear the water hoses going like gangbusters. the residents of those units were running out in their pajamas, pets and babies held tightly in their arms, and we felt so bad for them. it could so easily have been us.

i kept running back in to check on the bean to make sure she was still asleep, and then when the firemen appeared on the roof of the burning building and started up the chainsaws, i went in to check on the teen. her bedroom is closer to the front than ours is, and i knew she'd likely have been roused out of a deep sleep by the noise. sure enough, she was sitting up and wondering what was going on, and i filled her in quickly, told her not to worry and to go back to sleep.

when it was obvious that the fire had been put out and there was no danger of it spreading to our building, we closed the doors and went back to bed. of course, it was difficult for me to fall back asleep - my mind was going a mile a minute with the possible scenarios that we could have found ourselves in.

the hub and i had been talking about how, since we could tell that no one was injured, it must totally suck for everyone in that building - especially the occupants of the unit that caught on fire and the one below them. because if the fire didn't damage all their shit, the water that poured in from those powerful hoses sure did. damn. what a pain in the ass.

i thought of what i would grab out of our little apartment if, god forbid, something like that were to happen and i knew for sure that my family was safe. it would have to be one hell of a mad dash, done in one trip, and be able to hold what i was taking in my arms. i pictured all of our belongings and prioritized them according to what was replaceable and what wasn't. and the only things that came to mind was the small box of important documents (birth and marriage certificates, passports, etc.), my big CD holder full of backed up digital photos from the last ten years, and the computers (with the external hard drive). aside from those items, the only other material thing i'd want to save - and you're totally going to laugh at me - is my wedding dress. come on! how would i do the annual bridal twirl without it?

what would you save if you were in that situation? it's something we've probably all thought about for a minute, i'm guessing.

and this morning as i recall last night's events, i find myself feeling so grateful - because we weren't evacuated. that no one was hurt. and we didn't have to deal with any damage. and that i can be secure in the knowledge that, at least at this very moment, everyone i love is safe.

and that's all that matters.


  1. Strange coincidence, but the same thing happened to us on Saturday night. An apartment in our complex caught fire, and I ran out with only my keys and cell phone.

    I, too, checked my renter's insurance, and now have a bag with copies of all important documents and a short checklist in the closet by the door in case it happens again.

  2. Oh god. A fire in the night is my worst nightmare. I'm so glad no one was hurt.

    When I was in college, there was a fire in my dorm and one of my classmates died. No one else was injured, thankfully, but the whole thing was terrifying. To this day I sleep with a packed "go bag" hanging on my bedroom door knob.

    Aside from important papers the only things I'd really care about grabbing are my computer, a blanket I've had since I was a kid, and my dog. Everything else truly can be replaced.

  3. I'd grab:
    my husband
    my dog
    my laptop
    my Dumbo doll

    Not necessarily in that order.

  4. I've been retired from the department for 8 years 3 months and 2 days, but who's counting, and I still hang my clothes on a clothes pole next to the bed.

    Glad the event got you to thinking about safety. Hope you have a conversation about an exit plan with the family.

  5. My grey Marc Jacobs purse. That's all ;)

  6. So scary!

    I feel like I'm a fire expert having had both the time to pack stuff up and just do the quick run around grab.

    If packing: photos, photo albums, vase my grandmother's aunt painted, computer, purse, important documents, clothes (namely chonies)people, pets.

    If not: people, pets, computer, photos, purse, important documents.

  7. you can get a fireproof safe from wal-mart that can hold your photos and documents for $30. im going to get one myself. i know you hate wal-mart but i shopped the prces and they're the best.

  8. So sorry you had to deal with that. Glad you guys are all ok. I would grab my pups, the laptop, and external hard drive for our second computer. On the external hard drive we have password and secure locked files that have copies of our important documents (marriage license, birth certificates, and copies of our driver's licenses.) You have to know our 10 digit number/letter password and have a thumb print to access these files.

    On a completely other note, I found out that Nick Jonas gave a random acoustic show mid day yesterday at Downtown Disney. You guys were the first ones I thought of when I heard that. Wish I could have given you the information sooner but I just found out this afternoon.

  9. Scary! This is a good reminder to keep all our important documents together. And to save all our photos on an external drive! I would try to get our wedding album and my brother's things.

  10. You (and I, too) should look into an online file backup service. Much safer, you know?

  11. How scary!! I'm glad you guys are all okay.


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