Friday, February 01, 2008


A couple of day ago, I was working in the office during a particularly windy afternoon when my cell phone beeped. It was around 6:00.

"Yeah babe".

"My neighbor called and said my house is on fire."

The phone went dead.

I streaked away from the desk trying to regain communication as I bolted to my fairly new Impala where I promptly pulled the super glued door handle off. I banged it back into place, hopped in the car, and roared out of the drive.

Moments later, we are in contact again. "The fire started outside"

"Where Outside?"

"In the carport next to the washer dryers."

Another neighbor, who was riding his bicycle home from work, smelled the smoke, and then saw the flames, promptly calling 911 from his cell.

Knowing there would be terrible traffic, I started taking all the side streets, Leon, 29th, Harris over to Kirby, Bull Creek Road, arriving to the scene in a few minutes.

There were two firetrucks in front of the house, but the fire was out.

I jumped out and greeted the firefighters.

"Have you got the keys to the house?"


I opened the house to find it full of smoke.

I began to look for the 12 year old dog. She was hiding under the computer desk, in the far back side of the house, looking as nervous as a borrower with bad credit.

In moments the fireman set up a big fan and started blowing the smoke out.

We looked at the blackened walls, the fire cracked glass in the kitchen window, the frayed electric lines, the blackened washer /dryer, the burned wood plant dollys, the broken vases, and the scorched water lines.

In a cacophonous serenade of events, the wind had blown over a wooden screen which had knocked off a green 85 watt deck light from its mounting, which then settled into the folded Indian bedspread that was sitting next to the washer. Like an american indian spinning a twig in a wood valley with his bow, all the while carefully blowing and adding tiny bits of dry leaves, the light bulb, the light yet heavily dyed fabric, and the wind conspired to bring about a flame.

Soon it must have traveled up another indian bed cover that covered the washer/ dryer when they were not in use. From there, the fire moved to the cardboard box that held the vases and over to the wall, which in that part of the house, was only painted plywood.

By the time our cycling neighbor saw it, the area was in huge flames.

Then, he said "the flames suddenly receded" as if by magic.

The heat and the flame had ruptured the rubber hose and even melted the solder on the turn off valve. Like a well designed fire sprinkler, the water begin to spray the area and the fire lost its momentum, giving the firemen the time to arrive and finish the job.

It's going to be windy again today which led me to tell the story to my favorite register guy at the bakery this morning as I stopped in to get my usual large decaf coffee.

He said, "it wasn't meant to burn.

It was grace", he said.


You cannot exchange good deeds for it.

It is a free gift from God.

Greatfully received.

And Amazing


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Blogger respectisthehub said...

Thank God!

9:24 PM  
Blogger respectisthehub said...

How odd that tonight I stood in front of my house tonight in the early evening thinking how much it reminded me of another old house where I once lived. I would often stand at dusk in front of that house and think how much it's light looked like the painting you posted by Magritte. Yes.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Charlie Loving said...

Loss of material objects to random chance is always eye opening. In my youth I lost my favorite teddy bear when a V-1 took out our house. and one night in 1970 my neighbors house burned to the ground for no apparent reason. Fate works in funny ways. I am glad the house was saved and the good old dog was saved.

6:04 AM  
Blogger oZ said...

I made a few changes to the post on Saturday morning for readability.

10:13 AM  

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