Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Sorry this is so delayed but I have been unbelievable busy.

On Sunday 1/17/10 at around 10pm a fire broke out in Jake's room.

I had just got done checking on the boys and having the usual let's get out of bedtime arguments we normally do. I made my self a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for a snack and went back down to my computer at the bottom of the basement stairs. I maybe got 3 bites out of my sandwich when I here the loud footsteps upstairs. I thought for sure I'd have to go have some more "arguments" upstairs.

I turn around and both boys look terrified at me flailing their arms around screaming fire. I jump up run upstairs and ask where. The scream in Jake's rooms. I ran to Jake's room thinking it was something small. As I get to his door there is a fire as tall as his entertainment center at the far North East corner of the room.

I quickly ran to the kitchen and noticed our kitchen extinguisher is not on the wall. I then remember the big red one down in the laundry. I told the boys to go outside as I ran to get that one. Jake, Jackson and Cash (our lab) were right outside the back door. I went into the hallway and noticed the door was shut and shuttering trying to open. I pulled the pin out of the extinguisher and stepped back behind the wall as I pushed open the door. All I saw was smoke and I could feel the heat and a small glow where the fire had been. The smoke and heat were too much for me and I dropped the extinguisher. The door continued to shutter As I ran to the phone in the kitchen and ran outside to call 911.

At that moment I realized my shih-tzu, Jingle, was still in the house. I ran through my thoughts trying to remember when I last saw him. I was sure he was in the kitchen. I hoped he was not stuck in Jake's room. I opened the door to the back of the house and saw pitch black smoke a foot from the floor. I knew I couldn't go in after him. I called for his name but nothing. I saw one of our cats run to the basement at this point. As I was hollering for Jingle, Cash took off in the house keeping his head low in search of Jingle. I hollered at him to come back. He quickly returned. We remained outside as we waited for the fireman. The boys were in a panic and screaming and crying fire. My lab was running in circles around the house with his tail between his legs. I then realized we were all half dressed in our jammies and no shoes. I told the boys and Cash to get in the van. I then realized my purse was in the kitchen. I had no way to get to it and I knew I wasn't going to risk it to go get it. I had no way to reach John. About this time the Police showed up and escorted us off the premises. I kept telling them my dog was in there. I was so worried for Jingle.

We stayed at our neighbors house and I tried every way possible to try and get a hold of John. My cell phone was in my purse, which was obviously not gonna help me at that point. At that point they wanted me to get Cash out of the Van in case the fire got worse. It took Cash a lot of convincing he was safe with "Mommy". Once out of the van Cash was his cheery self and wanted to greet all the firemen. I was so in a daze I didn't even realize that our friend Gary, who also works as maintenance in our building, was photographer for the fire department. He appeared out of no where and asked if he needed to go get John. I was never happier to see him.

They put out the fire and made sure nothing would catch back up. They also cleared out the smoke. At this time I could see John. He looked so terrified. I was just so happy to see him. Shortly there after I could see the fireman were carrying Jingle's kennel. I was 2 houses away so I couldn't see exactly what they were doing but they had him by the ambulance. John met the fireman as he carried the kennel over. Jingle was in there and okay but so terrified he wouldn't come out for John. He eventually got him out, but my white shih-tzu was all grey and black. Eventually Jingle ended up with me and he was so scared he was shaking.

A lot after that was blur. I remember looking at the aftermath and thinking about what the Fire Marshal had said, "it is really minor damages". My house was all black. Jake's room looked like a black hole. John and I grabbed what we could for clothes and toiletries. We got to Grandma Nichols and I remember looking at all of us and we looked like we'd come from the streets. We had suet all over our faces. I had to shower, I stunk and I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep like that. Jackson didn't want me out of his sight. He just wanted em to hold him. I ended up with Jake in the shower with me and Jackson laying on a pile of smelly smoked blankets as I shower. Once I was done I had to hold him immediately. We eventually fell asleep around 2am and we didn't sleep well.

The weeks to follow we had a lot of friends help where they could with donations for Jake, Muscle to move furniture, laundry anything they could do they did.

The house is now about 60% done. We have insulation up in Jake's room. then drywall, new ceiling fans (that would make 5 of them) and all new lights (3 of those), then paint and trim and then I get my floors sanded, treated and sealed. It will all look A LOT better then it did before. Unfortunately all my hard work from over a year ago with painting will now be all white, darn insurance won't cover it. O well I get to have fun painting again. Jake has almost all his furniture replaced thanks to donations. ALL of his clothes have been replaced again thanks to donations.

This fire has shined a new light on me. GOD has a bigger plan then what you see in front of you, trust in him and he will light that path for you. I am TRULY blessed with good friends and family. I am soooo happy Jake was awake that night and everyone got out safe. My life crumbled in 2weeks but I was brought back on my feet withing days. I am stronger now then I was before and know that God has his arms wrapped tightly around me and my family.