How Mom and Dad's House Caught on Fire

On our way home from the family reunion, we stopped off at Mom and Dad's house. It's a little over halfway from Mary's, and it was a lot cheaper than a motel.

We pulled in around 8:00pm on Friday (Jun 2). Strangely enough, all the kids were asleep so we left them in the car, and went foraging. I raided the freezer and ate all the smoked sausage and cookies. Chanin found something with broccoli in it (it's a pregnancy thing). We watched one of dad's movies, and then got the kids in bed.

We found all of Mom's "secret" chocolate stashes, too. If you ask me, she's getting pretty lax in her concealment tactics, now that nobody's around to hide it from.

The next morning, we got breakfast, made up a bunch of ham and cheese sandwiches, and got ready to leave (turning off the water and hot water heater).

We got the kids in the car, and we both noticed a smoky haze. But since we had seen several burn piles going on our way in, I didn't think much about it. Then I remembered that Mom said we could take what food we wanted, so I went downstairs to forage for some apple juice. I had just found it when I heard Chanin banging on the door.

Apparently, she had decided to investigate the smoke, and went through the carport out to the back and discovered that the back of the house was on fire! I opened the sliding glass door, and she ran inside, grabbed the cookie jar, and tried to fill it with water. Of course, I had turned the water off only minutes before. So, I ran down stairs and turned on the water, and turned off all the circuit breakers, so that we wouldn't get zapped by throwing water on the blaze.

By the time I got back outside, Chanin had already gotten in one cookie jar-ful of water, and we could see that it wasn't the whole house, just the back porch light that was on fire. Fortunately, the garden hose was hooked up and nearby, so we were able to get things under control in a manner of seconds.

Back of the house
Luckily, the siding didn't catch on fire. In fact, for the most part, the paint still looks pretty good. Now, I know that amateur firefighting is looked down upon by professionals, but I figured that we might as well give it a shot, since it hadn't spread, the kids were all safe in the car, we had adequate room to escape if necessary, and, since the phone was cordless, we could call for help without staying in the house. It's amazing how fast your brain processes the situation in an emergency.

Mom and Dad's burned up porch light
In any case, all's well that ends well. Mom and dad will have to buy a new porch light, but I'm sure they needed a new one anyway. :) As far as we can tell, the fire started because of a birdnest on the light, but that's speculation.

So, the moral of the story is listen to promptings, especially when they involve smoke.