Thursday, December 11, 2014
As we were getting ready for bed the dogs began barking alerting us to something going on. As I got up to see what was going on, and thinking it may have been a bear in the area, I smelled smoke and alerted the manthing. He got up and went outside and yelled to me to grab the fire extinguisher, axe, and water. We quickly realized the fire was bigger than we could deal with, called the fire department and began grabbing what we could to throw in the truck. We were able to grab the chainsaws, guns, tobacco, the safe, and a couple drawers of clothes before the flames were enough to stop us from going back in. Manthing moved the small truck away from the fire and we ran back to the house to pull the water pump and water tank from the back of the big truck before it burned/melted. By this time, the house was fully engulfed so he went down to lead the fire trucks in and I went to watch the flamage from a safe distance.
In all, 14 units responded to the fire. The forest service was called in to keep the fire from going into the forest behind the shack, and eventually, to get a fire truck unstuck. The house was a complete loss but we were fine as were all the critters, except the unidentified one we later found down in a cinder block. The only items we were able to salvage were ones we snagged on our way out, a couple photos, and our cast iron (needing some major reseasoning). The fire was of undetermined origin though it involved the wood stove. It was not a chimney fire but the fire somehow got out of the chimney and into the wall of the house.
Don't depend on your smoke/fire alarm! Ours did not go off, even though it was less than three months old, until the doors had burned off the bedroom and it was within 5 foot of where the fire started.
Pay attention to your dogs! They may be dumb as bricks but they know when something is not right and will alert you to it!
You can plan and plot a million times in your head how you will react to something catastrophic happening. How it plays out will not be as you have plotted as your mind does some crazy things. We grabbed what was quick and easy to grab and what had most value to us as homesteaders. We somehow managed to completely forget about our wallets and identification. They are a pain to get replaced!
If you live in the backwoods, expect the place to be beyond salvage by the time the fire department gets there. We did know this and our major concern was catching the entre national forest behind us on fire.
Don't become lax!!! If you have a root cellar, USE IT! If you have a second place you could live in, store clothes, bedding and some food there. Don't keep all of your eggs in one basket. Had we not become complacent, lazy, and comfortable we would be much better off! We would not have lost every stitch of clothing, bedding, preserved foods and such that we had. I will go into this on a deeper level in a different post in the future because it deserves much more than this little blurb.
at 10:05 AM