Chimney Fire

Monday we had a chimney fire and for the first time in my life, I just wanted to stand there and let someone else take charge and deal with it. I've never made a choice to deal with such things, I just do when they happen. This was our third fire where the fire department was called and we extinguished it with a hose before they got there. The first two were on neighboring properties and the owners weren't home in both cases. The second fire involved "breaking in" to the owners home because we had neither a phone nor a hose and would you believe he was upset with us? He was drunk, which is why his trash pile fire had spread to the grass and was heading our way, while he was wandering around the neighborhood. Anyway, I digress, Monday's fire was in the horizontal run of our chimney. We had not used the wood stove very much this season and I had cleaned that portion of chimney before burning season and the entire chimney every season prior to that that I've lived here. Ironically, my husband had never swept the chimney in his 15 or so years before me, in this house, he used a chemical sweep stick that has a poor reputation. Well, I had a little fit of I don't want to deal and then pulled myself together, assessed the situation and assigned tasks. My youngest daughter got on the phone and tried to dial 911. It's amazing how many wrong combinations a dyslexic can come up with, but she finally got it right. Then she didn't know any cell numbers or the address. It's a good thing the operator has a way of knowing. With the assistance of his older sister, my son, who is afraid of heights in a somewhat severe sense, climbed right up on the roof with the hose. I remained inside pushing the fire that was in the pipe into the chimney to be extinguished. After the fire was out and the fire dept. had arrived (in record time), my son who was still on the roof, shirtless, was requesting a rope so that he could lower himself down the now wet slope that had him terrified of sliding off. The fire dept., all eight of them, were, rightly so, more concerned with checking for heat with their new gadgets, than assisting my son down. They were very thorough in their investigation, up in the attic, down in the crawl space, all sides of the chimney. They did a great job. Meanwhile, I got into the garage, retrieved a rope and climbed up on the roof to assist my son in getting down. A fireman showed up to hold the ladder, which actually made me more uncomfortable. I didn't want to accidentally kick him in the face because he insisted on holding the ladder so that I had to climb down through his embrace. My daughters might have enjoyed that, but I didn't. With the fire out and the the fire dept. dispatched to fight burning fires elsewhere and the assurance that there was nothing hot and smoldery where we couldn't see it, ( I must say, that is a very reassuring feature of those gadgets), we stood in our smokey living room and proceeded to remove the wood stove and declare that there would be no more fires in this house until some one could replace the leaky stove and line the chimney.( It's an old cinder block chimney and the application of cold water may have cracked it.) And it wasn't going to be one of us, as we don't have the resources to do that and move. And moving is of top priority. Also, Monday was my youngest daughter's birthday and the dinner she was preparing was only delayed by 20 minutes. She was so proud. And at the youthful age of 22, she also enjoyed watching the firemen. ;)
We don't count our many kitchen fires as real fires because you don't need the fire dept. for back up. You just put it out, even if it's your sleeve that's on fire, right Catherine.

We have enjoyed two of the birthdays of our birthday season and on April 1st the season will conclude.


Blog posted on Wednesday March 9th 2016 13:58:22 GMT -08:00