So I realized recently that I never made a blog post about the fire that happened behind our house. Mobile home fires are common, but this was the first time it was so very close to us…and the first time the same house caught fire twice.
Amy and I were coming home from the Gym a little after 8 a.m. on December 16 (my mom’s birthday) and she noticed a “bonfire” smell. I told her someone was probably having a bonfire (something else common in mobile home communities). She dropped me off and picked up our oldest to take her to school. I had just Riley in the house with me then. I went back to my office to do a few things before going to bed.
Amy called me a few minutes later and said that I better check out the back window and see what’s going on, because she had to stop twice on the frontage road to let police cars fly by her and whip down Liberty Lane (the next street over from us and behind our home). The conversation went like this:
“Why bother? I’m not going to be able to see anything anyways.”
I look out my window as I am talking to her and I see police cars everywhere. I turn slightly to my right and look at a blue double-wide that is behind and off to the right of my back window (8 feet to be exact, corner to corner)….and I see flames shooting out the window.
I yelled into the phone, “HOLY $H1T! The blue house behind us is on fire!”
Amy replies, “You can see the fire?”
“It’s shooting out the back window of their house!” I reply
“Get the kids and get the HELL OUT OF THERE! I am on my way back” Amy yells and then hangs up. (We had our nieces and nephew being dropped off soon and she thought they were there already)
Amy was on Lovell Road and whipped a U‑turn going like 40–45 mph. Courtney hangs on for dear life.
I start running through the house, yelling for Riley to get his shoes on, there is a fire and we have to get out of the house. He complains that he doesn’t have socks on (that kid and his socks) and I yell at him to “Get your damn shoes on!” (I don’t think or speak well when I am under that kind of pressure….)
I think to get the dog’s leash on him and grab him and Riley and our coats. The cats (and turtle) will have to fend for themselves as I can’t grab them all at once and I didn’t have a whole lot of time. (We were afraid they were all in the back bathroom, but we found out later they were all in different areas of the house…two were way up in the front sleeping the whole time)
Amy comes whipping in, Courtney storms up the stairs and grabs the dog and we get into the car and park across the street. The whole neighborhood comes over to watch and talk….all while smoking cigarettes….
We’re all freaked out, because Mobile Home fires have a tendency to “travel” like a forest fire, because homes are so close to each other…we were also afraid that the blue home next to our (which is MUCH closer) could catch fire…then we would have been screwed, as that house is abandoned and there is a lot of junk in that house. It’s a fire hazard.
We called my mom at work, on her birthday, to give her a birthday present…a near heart attack. I post frantically on Facebook to alert everyone of what’s going on.
The fire is finally put out about two hours later(?) and everyone disperses. Our statements are taken. We go into the house and realize that we can’t smell any smoke….which told us we don’t have any drafts!
I head to bed as I have “Knittervention” that night and we comment that if I hadn’t stayed up…I would have still been asleep, I wouldn’t have heard the policeman bang on my door (or the dog barking) as once I am out, I am dead to the world and Amy wouldn’t have known until she came back.
Amy says the fireman didn’t clear out for a few hours after. Rumors was that it was the lint in the dryer that caught fire (but they always say that with mobile homes…) Amy said it looked like it started in the electrical box, because you could see the box and it was totally scorched, but the dryer exhaust area didn’t look as scorched.)
So jump a few hours later, after knittervention.
My mom and I are on our way back from the open knit a little after 10pm and we turn to drive down our street and I see smoke billowing across the street…I thought at first that it was fog…then I look over in my houses direction and I see a smoke plume just rising…I tell my mom to step on it and as we pass by the house next to us, I can see flames shooting out the side window…I scream at her that “It’s the same [email protected] house on fire!” and she whips into the driveway (which amazed me, cause she is kinda pokey.)
Our neighbor Wendy was already coming down the street on her phone (calling 911). I jump out of the car before it’s done moving and storm up the steps….stop to enter in my code….then storm into the house screaming for everyone to get out, the same house is on fire.
Amy was in her nightgown laying on the couch, Mikayla and her best friend were lounging half-asleep in the living room. Dominic was asleep in his bed and Riley was somewhere.
Amy throws on some pants, gets the kids together (It took a bit to wake up Dominic and get Mikayla’s bestie moving). Cindy comes in and grabs the dog and we get the kids and everyone across the street.
By this time the policeman are here and going around evacuating the houses again, and we run back in (while they are on the other side) and grab our cats this time (some of our neighbors helped us get them out of the house and into the car.)
This time it took until about 1–2am until they had the fire completely out. They tore out the back to walls to make sure. Our good neighbors the Pictons, and Kippy, stayed with us and Kippy made us hot cocoa to keep us warm (it was getting quite cold out). I stayed up most of the night on “fire watch” to make sure nothing else happened. Everyone figured it was a rekindle….until…..
The next morning Amy is assessing our damage and comes across this little lighter in our yard, with parts of it strewn about, like someone was dissembling it as they ran. She called the police.
They came out and said it looked like a homemade blow torch. Amy started filling them in on all the stuff that has been happening around our area (kids shutting of the main switch on our electrical pedestal–which shuts off all power to our house–around midnight when I would be gone for work, turning on our outside water in the middle of the night, taking their lighters to our siding and making scorch marks, hanging out in the empty lot (and breaking into the house) next door and smoking…and possibly doing other drugs.). As she is telling him this, he goes over and moves some skirting…there are a few alcohol bottles, with towels tucked into them, with scorch marks….they were making molotov cocktails.
So now the rumor is possible arson for the second fire. (We have a home a few streets over that is labeled as arson…they caught that person I believe.
So that was my mom’s fun exciting birthday and how a house catches fire twice in one day…and freaks out the Jones family.