Monday, October 7, 2013

41 The Night I Lost Everything...

I was exhausted, in that deep stage of sleep, I heard a noise I couldn't focus on.  It seemed so far away. What was that constant noise? It got louder and louder creeping up on me in a slow steady movement. I awoke to find my dog, Nikki, standing over me barking in my face.  I couldn't see her...where was I? What was that smell and that fog...
The Night I Lost Everything Except Me, a true story brought to you by Life After Empty Nest


Then reality set in...it was SMOKE, as thick as a wall pressing against me.  I sat up...my adrenaline started pumping, I'm dreaming...I'm just dreaming...
I sat up and felt my way into the hall. As I walked around the corner I could see flames as the heat surrounded me.  My kitchen is on fire!
I ran back to the bedroom calling 911.  "Fire!!..Fire!!" I screamed "My house is on"...the phone went dead as the kitchen was engulfed with flames.

My house is on fire...what should I grab?...what should I do?...stop, drop, roll?  I should be crawling on the floor but My photos, my stuff.  What should I grab?
I spun around in circles unfocused and in shock. Was I cooking? Did I leave something on? It is hot...the heat continued to encompass me.  I should be crawling on the floor...where are my photo albums? "GET OUT" my subconscious screamed..."Get Out!"

I ran to the front door, swollen from heat, I struggled to get it open as I ran out into the frigid January air, slipping on the ice covering my driveway, crying now, someone wake up...my house is on fire!

I pounded on my neighbors front door, as my dogs barked at our house from the front yard.  I could see flames shooting out the roof....my stuff, my house, my life....was burning before my eyes.

Things are a blur after that...my sweet elderly neighbors usherd me in consoling me as the sirens whirred in the background.

They were on the phone calling my husband who was in the military on duty, the paramedics arrived taking my vitals..."she's pregnant" my neighbor announced.  They loaded me on a stretcher and were closing the doors to the rescue unit as my husband ran up the cul-de-sac, having left his car at the end of the street due to all the emergency vehicles, in time to tell me everything would be okay.
Everything was okay.  My home was rebuilt in time for the arrival of our Beautiful first born daughter Brianne.  We lost everything we owned, but that was replaceable stuff. I survived and because of that Brianne survived and that is all that matters.

Things could have been MUCH worse.  My dog Nikki, (who is waiting for me at the rainbow bridge) was NEVER allowed on the furniture or bed...yet she jumped up and woke me.  I ran around disoriented, I didn't crawl on the ground, I stayed in the house too long thinking of saving "stuff"
All these mistakes could have cost me my life.

Way back then we never imagined that Todd would become a firefighter and he would deal with people unprepared for such a tragedy....people who may have survived if they were prepared!

It is fire prevention week and I wanted to share my personal story because I NEVER thought this would happen to me...but IT DID! Being prepared and practiced could save you and your family!

Fire Prevention Week. Being prepared ke

This week I will share tips and advice from my very own Firefighter and host an awesome giveaway!

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/ ( mm / dd )

In memory of my devoted dog Nikki, 
who broke the rules that fateful night, 
not a day goes by that I don't remind myself 
how lucky Brianne and I were to have you in our lives. 

UPDATE - Click Here to Read Day 2 - Making a Home Fire Escape Plan!
Thanks for Reading!
xoxo







41 comments:

  1. Ugh! I fear something like that happening but I am grateful that it hasn't happened to us. I am sorry to hear that it happened to you but I am glad that you and the baby were unharmed. This made me tear up!!! You might have a future in public speaking for fire prevention!!!

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    1. Thank you Alison! I teared up while writing it...even though it was a long time ago those feelings came rushing back. Keep reading this week so you will feel better prepared and then more at ease!
      xoxo

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  2. What a happy ending to a horrible story.Animals are not just pets but a member of our families and Nikki saved her family.

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    1. Awww Tea Lady you just made me tear up again! You are right, Nikki would have died trying to save us...just like any family member would. She may have been brought into our lives for that very reason.
      Thanks for reading!
      Hope you'll continue to read my fire prevention posts all week!
      xoxo

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  3. Oh Sharon, what a story. I am so glad you are sharing this week so the rest of us can remember to be more prepared. And dogs are really amazing, aren't they? So thankful she was there to wake you up and that you and beautiful Brianne are here today because of that. Thanks for sharing this. xo

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    1. Claire it was hard to write this...and relive it again, but I am hoping it might reach one family that needs it!
      Dogs are amazing! Such unsung heroes!
      xoxo

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  4. WOW - what a scary experience! So glad you were okay! This is such an important topic, so I can't wait to review your tips!

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    1. Thanks Keri! It is so important to be ready! I hope this weeks tips will help you prepare! (and that you NEVER need them)
      xoxo

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  5. Oh my goodness - that is scary and heartbreaking. Thank goodness for Nikki! Thanks for speaking up for Fire Prevention Week.
    Marie@InteriorFrugalista

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    1. Thank goodness for Nikki is right!! Hoping my Fire Safety Tips will help anyone in need!
      Thanks for stopping by Marie!
      xoxo

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  6. Holy cow Sharon! How scary that must have been! I'm so sorry you lost everything, but thank goodness you and your (unborn) daughter were okay! I'll be the first to admit that I don't think I'm prepared if God forbid something like that would happen. I'll be following along :) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Don't worry Christine I'll help you get ready...hopefully you'll never need my tips but you'll feel better being prepared!
      I learned stuff is just stuff...try to put a smile on my face everyday knowing I'm living on borrowed time (thanks to Nikki)
      xoxo

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  7. That must have just been so very scary. I'm so glad that you got out safely and no one was hurt. Fire safety is so important. We've taught the kids a few things to keep in mind in case something ever happens.

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    1. I'm so glad you are teaching your children about fire safety Susi! Being prepared is the key!
      xoxo

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  8. Sharon, I had no idea! I still have goosebumps on my arms from reading your story. Your dog was an angel! My heart breaks knowing you lost your belongings, but I also rejoice knowing that God protected the most important things at the time: you and your baby! The idea of a house fire really scares me, and I'll be eager to hear your tips and recommendations for how to be prepared. Although we don't want to live in fear, we do want to be ready for if disaster strikes.

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    1. Nikki was my angel. I thank God everyday that He put he in our lives! I learned stuff is just stuff. Life goes on...thankfully, Living life as a precious gift. I think EVERYONE is put in your life for a reason...so glad that through blogging you are now a part of mine!
      xoxo

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  9. I can honestly relate to your story. We lost our home in a gas explosion. (Remember the movie "Back Draft?") It look many years to recover from the fear and injuries, but I am ever grateful to those first responders who seemed to come out of nowhere and be so comforting to us all. I'm also glad you are courageous enough to write your story. I hope everyone gets a chance to read your posts. I know I will! --Deb (DialMforMoms)

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    1. Oh Deborah, I am so sorry to hear about your experience. I am thankful you had awesome first responders, they really are AMAZING! I can't imagine doing what my hubby does!

      Having a tragedy like that is so tough to get through...but isn't there a song that says..."What Doesn't Kill Us Makes Us Stronger" We are STRONG!!
      Thank you for feeling comfortable enough to share your story with me!
      So glad we have connected! (Following you everywhere)
      Take Care!
      xoxo

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  10. OMG what an amazing and scary experience! Your story just made me cry. Thank you for sharing it! I'm off to check my smoke detector batteries.

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    1. Oh Wendi, I didn't mean to make you cry...but I cried while I was writing it as well. All the memories came right back to the surface!
      I am grateful that it made you go check the smoke detectors! Wouldn't want anything to happen to my fantastic new friend!!
      xoxo

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  11. What an amazing post. That brought tears to my eyes! Thank you for opening up my eyes to something I may not be prepared for! And I'm so glad you guys were all okay!

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    1. Thank you Rebecca, You are so sweet!
      I hope you will find some of the ideas this week helpful to stay as safe as possible!
      xoxo

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  12. What an experience. One that crosses my mind every now & then. I hope that this never happens to me. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Keep reading this week Joani! Tomorrow my hubby is sharing some great tips to keep you prepared!
      Thanks for reading!
      xoxo

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  13. I'm sorry about your loss. We had a fire too during my pregnancy. I had recently become homeless and found shelter with my lifelong friend & her family. A few weeks after moving in there was a bad storm. The only people home were my friend, her sister, me, and their many animals. We heard a snap & the lights went off. We went to the basement because her sister was afraid. 30-60 minutes later their father burst through the front door, telling us to get out because the house was on fire. We thought he was joking. When we realized he wasn't everyone rushed around grabbing the animals. I was able to reach under the bed to grab their very scared cat. The clawed at me but I didn't even notice. Everyone made it out safely. We were all so lucky that day.

    I was able to get into transitional housing before my daughter was born. I now have a wonderful partner who is helping to raise our daughter and, recently, a house we can call ours. My friends family was able to rebuild. Now she's married with a baby of her own on the way. Things could have gone very differently. I'm so glad they didn't.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your story Crystal! Those of us who have been effected by fire know the importance of being prepared!
      It is important to get the word out so others can learn what to do!
      So glad your story has a happy ending like mine!
      Take care and stay safe!
      xoxo

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  14. Wow, what a sad story, but you made it out and that's all that matters! I can't imagine losing everything. That had to be so hard. My husband is a volunteer firefighter and I hear stories of the things he encounters and it is unbelievable sometimes. I will be reading your other posts to help our family prepare for something like this, God forbid. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. I am so glad you will be reading all my posts Leah! I hope they help you and your family in some way!
      Thank your hubby for his service!!
      The stories they share are incredible... many that would turn out differently if people were prepared!
      Stay safe!!
      xoxo

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  15. Thanks so much for leaving a comment on my post so that I could see yours. I can't even imagine going through this! I know it's just "stuff" and am so glad you were ok. But I'm sure it was devastating to rebuild. I love that your husband is now a firefighter. I think everyone feels like 'That would never happen to me.' And then it does. I'm so glad you're talking about fire safety this week!!

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    1. Yes...the dreaded...that will never happen to me Mique! That keeps so many people from preparing!!
      I'm so glad I read your post and I LOVE your safety check off sheet! I have been sharing it all over!

      It is so important to get the word out, if I only help one family....that is one family that will be thankful!
      xoxo

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  16. My family lost our home to a house fire when I was about ten. I still remember standing in the living room surrounded by smoke. I can honestly say that it was the fire preparedness that my parents hammered into our heads constantly that saved my brother and I. Oddly enough I too ended up married to a (volunteer) fireman. lol

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    1. I'm so glad your parents hammered fire safety in your head!! Thankfully they did!
      I wish EVERY family did that!

      Thank your wonderful hubby for his service!!
      P.S. your photography is AMAZING!!!
      xoxo

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  17. So happy you are ok!!! So terrifying! Thank you for sharing! I'll be featuring you this weekend. You are so right that being prepared is the best thing we can do! XOXO

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    1. Thank you Kristine! I appreciate the feature...I want people to realize this could happen to ANYONE and if your family is prepared they will be safe!
      xoxo

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  18. Hi there! Wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed your series for Fire prevention and have chosen it as one of my favorites from last week’s Saturday Spotlight blog hop. A house fire is on of my worse nightmares, thank goodness you weren't harmed. It's been featured on this week’s blog hop which started at 9pm EST on Friday, and was PINed to my Pinterest page. Thanks so much for linking up! Looking forward to seeing what you have to share next time.

    April

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    1. April! You just MADE my weekend!! I really appreciate the feature and pins, hoping by getting the word out, it may help someone who needs it one day!
      Love you and your blog too!!!
      Happy Weekend!!
      xoxo

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  19. OMG...what an absolutely terrifying story! Dogs really are amazing animals. I am so glad that she got you out in time. :)

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    1. Thank you! I agree dogs are AMAZING! I know if Nikki didn't hop on the bed that night, something she NEVER was allowed to do, I would have died from smoke inhalation. Not a day goes by that I don't think about her...
      xoxo

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  20. Just found your blog through Hometalk and am poking around. My son is a firefighter in Alaska and I know that he fights not only the fire, but the ice! The firefighters will hit each other with large shovels, etc. to break off the ice that builds up from the water spray. He said sometimes the ice alone will weigh nearly 100 lbs! I too am grateful to hear from him after his weekly shift and am happy to hear about those quiet (boring?) times because it means that not only was he not in danger, but that there are people who did not have to face the fears, the loss, pain, or heartache. Thanks for sharing your experience. Now just a mundane question... did you save your photo albums???

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    1. I am so glad you found me and went poking around! Now I have another member in my Fire Family!!! Welcome Debi!
      I read my hubby your comment and he told me how incredibly dangerous fire fighting in Alaska is. WOW your son is quite a hero, one I am sure you are EXTREMELY proud of! (even though that comes with tons of worry) I will keep you and your brave son in my thoughts : )

      No, the photo albums were not saved. Luckily we had only been married for 3 years and my family contacted the wedding photographer and he still had our negatives (yes the era of negatives) so he made us a new album. The other pictures were gone forever but the memories live on in my mind...and that is all that really matters!
      I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope you will stay connected with me!
      xoxo

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