Our Fire

To the Marysville Fire Department, http://www.ci.marysville.wa.us/fire/ ;
the Red Cross Volunteers,
and to our most wonderful Neighbors
we offer our heartfelt Thanks for your Help, your Support, and your Friendship

(all the thumbnails are clickable to larger images usually with additional information)

On Sunday 10 Sep 2000 about 5:00 in the morning we had a fire at our home in Marysville WA.

The following is the sequence of actions from way before the fire until... well,
we are still working with our insurance...
we are still cleaning... and we enjoy nearly every moment.

1987 we moved into the house and created a fire plan and did some fire drills.

1987 my husband removed the battery from our smoke detector... Seems I could start the silly thing by just boiling water. It is located by our bedroom door and remains unoperative for the rest of its life.

Aug 2000 I have a continual cough and my doctor prescribes/loans me a nebulizer. I use it faithfully and begin to feel better. Favorite place to use it is in my overstuffed chair in front of the TV. Although I am to use it 4 times a day... I've cut back on my own and am using it first thing in the morning and last thing at nite.

9 Sep 2000 after working at the bookstore I get home late

7:30ish I light two candles on a small oak table beside the big overstuff chair. (I bought these candles from a 99 cent type store.) I placed the match in a blue glass bowl set also on the table. I was expecting my hubby home soon... He was at a friends home working on his motorcycle.

9:30 ish I used the pulmo aide (Devilbiss) nebulizer. It smelt/tasted a little different.

midnightish Bednar arrived home... We watched a video. He was sitting on the couch and I was in the big overstuff chair.

10 Sep 2000
1:00 am Our daughter Erin arrives home

2:00 am the video was over. I bent forward and blew out the candles. Bednar said he was going to take a shower. I turned off the wall lamp by removing its cord from the plug in. There were no other lights on in the living room. I went to bed and was asleep before Bednar finished his shower...

5:00 am I awoke to glass breaking sounds. Then a crash as something collapsed against the wall. Finally I heard this beeping sound. I got up quickly to see what was happening (leaving my glasses behind on my bedstand...so how did I expect to see what was happening ?) Bednar says I turned on the light when I got up...but that I don't remember. Did remember to grab my robe. So nake, without my glasses, and robe in hand I went to face the people destroying my front room.

Well, I saw smoke coming under the bedroom door and, of course, the door was dishwater warm...not hot.

I yelled at Marty we got a fire.... and thought briefly about going out the window...like I always thought I would do... but in that nano-second knew that WAS NOT goin' to happen. So holding my robe in my hand... I opened the bedroom door and raced towards the wall telephone... which wasn't there... cause the beeping SOUND was when the hand held part burned up.

It was more smoke then fire but then I couldn't see anything... I made it to the front door... jerked it open and stepped out into the morning darkness the way I entered the world.... Bednar stopped and put on his jeans and grabbed his father's ratty robe but he still was only 1 step behind me.

I yelled at him to get Erin and he dashed off to the side of the house. Erin said she had heard us yelling and knew she should go out the side door which she did... and her Dad just raced on by.... She had to go get him.

Now here's where the "Chinese fire drill" began. Erin left her own phone back in her room (whoops) So she ran to the neighbors across the street (Yep we practiced that for years) and woke them up. The Neighbor... Paula, bless her heart, didn't hear the 911 dispatcher answer the call...and kept redialing...

Bednar forgot he had a cellphone in his car and raced to another neighbor's home... And they also called the 911.

Our outdoor water faucet doesn't have the knob on the end. When it broke off years ago...we left it off... to much trouble to fix...and we didn't have to worry about ‘that neighbor kid’ doin' anything. We use pliers out of Bednar's toolbox in the garage.

But the garage door is closed... So I dash around the house and force open the garage side door... open the garage big door and start looking for something to turn the water on... (course I'm nearly blind and kept trying with the wrong stuff)

Erin said later that she thought I was trying to rescue the trike... But Bednar knew exactly what I was looking for. He found the pliers and Shouted at me to "Get out of the Way." He turned the faucet on and I grabbed the hose and entered the house...STUPID ...and nearly nothing came out of the hose.

‘Mr. Fire Guy’ Yelled at me to "Get out of the Way" and Took Over the hose and I raced along the line until I found the kink. We had water YES.

I thought the fire was burning my mother's Chinese Trunk and was devastated. and kept tellin' Bednar how to spray water.... Thank God he didn't listen.

The Firemen arrived but Bednar had the fire nearly under control....and a few minutes later it was OUT. I don't think they pulled the hose..

The Fireguys entered the house in full gear and yanked the big chair out which was in charred ruins and then the couch with it's big burn hole.

5:30 ish Reality sinks in. Fire Trucks and Aid Cars and good Neighbors fill the street.

What was weird was what burned; What melted from the heat; and What survived undamaged.

The rug at the fire site burned (but not very well). The wall with all my Grandmother’s plates was badly scorched but the sheet rock held. Most of the plates were broken. (the glass breaking sound) and the wall lamp melted. The ceiling was really damaged but again because Bednar put the fire out so quickly the sheet rock held and no fire got into the attic. The ceiling fan burned and left little evidence we had one.

What is hard to handle is the smoke damage. EVERYTHING is covered in clingey, slimey, nasty, black film.... It's in all the kitchen cupboards and drawers EVERYWHERE.

I haven't gone over to look at my Grandmother's secretary desk... I know the glass is broken and that some plastic has melted on to a part of it. But am told it looks good.

The trunk behind the chair was badly damaged and Grandma's afghan burned... But it wasn't my Mother's Chinese trunk.... After years of having the trunk on display in the front room ... this summer I moved it into my bedroom...and it is safe and sound.

After the fire was out... we walked through the house and looked around and I saw that old trunk (containing my wedding dress (now sporting scorch marks and burn hole)) and it was nearly 20 minutes later when I realized which trunk was where and I hugged the nearest person... Which was a Red Cross Lady... Boy was she surprised...

What survived is to me the weirdest.. 3 feet away from the fire on the bottom shelves of the entertainment center Bednar's collection of kite books remained undamaged from heat, flame, smoke, or water. And because her door remain closed my daughter Erin's room remained virtually undamaged my the smoke...

We got three possibilities for the cause. I had been burning candles... (won't explain why) but I remember blowing 'em out and so does Bednar (won't explain why). The Nebulizer that was on the same tray with the candles... (doctors orders for me)... and am extension cord for the TV...

The fire marshal is leaning towards the nebulizer but right now it is a guess. We can't use any thing that is on the same circuit as the plug in on the wall.

My daughter Virginia stayed with her Aunt for 3 days and left Octavia with them while she now stays at neighbors...so we all eat and sit together

My daughter Erin's rooms were barely affected by the fire and now 3 of us adults 1 dog and 3 cats live in her rooms.

24 Sep 2000

6 Oct 2000

16 Oct 2000

20 Oct 2000

31 Oct 2000

18 Nov 2000

........ .......

12 Dec 2000

p> 5 January 2001
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