At about 3:45 or so this morning, we were awakened by a knock at the door from one of our neighbors informing us that the trailor right next door to us was on fire. It was really strange because I first thought, on hearing the knock at the door and looking at the time, “our house must be on fire”, or that something really bad must have happened or be about to happen, for someone to be knocking at the door at this time of night/morning. when my husband told us to get up and that the neighbor’s trailor was on fire, I wasn’t really upset or scared at first, I was even coherent enough to repeat our phone number to him as he was giving our info to the 911 dispatcher. That is until I opened the front door and as I stepped out onto the porch/driveway of our house, I could feel the heat of the fire already. I thought back to the house fire I had about 6 years ago now, and thought to myself, “oh no here we go again”. I began to get upset, having this image in my head of our house just exploding in flames, and us having to start all over again, again. I remember saying something to my husband, on the verge of tears, something to the affect of “I can’t do this again” or something like that.
And it really wasn’t about losing any of my possessions, although at times I did have irrational thoughts of running back into the house and grabbing my work computer, or my netbook or something like that. I think it was the trauma of it, the shock, that part of it. That was what I didn’t want to go through again. then, I was mad at myself for being upset, then I was upset with myself for standing in my driveway un-hijabed for lack of a better word, lol. But being too afraid to go back into the house to grab anything, because by that time, I could hear the popping and cracking getting worse, I could hear the windows breaking in the trailor, and the flames were jumping into the air threatening our roof. I had the fear/thought that if I were to go back into my house, or if I were to send my husband back into the house, just for a piece of cloth, that perhaps the house would have gone up and he’d have gotten trapped. And in any case, I’ve always been taught that once you leave a burning or potentially burning house/building you should never go back into it.
In any case, the people on the street were not paying attention to me anyway, they were too busy watching the fire and telling us not to go back into the house, and by that time the sheriff had arrived, the fire trucks were not far behind him, and they wouldn’t let us go back in anyway until they’d cleared the area. So I just stood in the grass across the street from my driveway and waited for the firefighters to put out the fire. I suppose if I had it to do all over again, I’d have grabbed a scarf and/or an abaya or something. But as it was, the fire sounded really bad, and there was potential for our house to be involved, and per my split second, muddled evaluation, I just determined that I didn’t have enough time to do anything but get myself and Chloe and mom-in-law out, as hubby was already outside.
And the fact that we now have melted blinds on our windows that we’ll need to replace, or we did until my husband removed them, tells me that I made the right decision. Because even though nothing in or out of the house was damaged, at the time we didn’t know that, and also at the time, as I mentioned before, there was a very real possibility of the house catching on fire, and maybe in a really dramatic and explosive fashion.
And while normally I’m obviouslly pretty strict about covering properly, this was just an extenuating circumstance, I, along with the rest of the house, was half-asleep, and I normally don’t keep something readily at hand to grab if someone knocks at my dor at 3 in the morning, as usually my husband gets up and takes care of it, and it’s not every day that your next door neighbor’s house is on fire.
At any rate, Alhamdulillah, we are all OK, and aside from being a bit tired today, we are all fine. It could most certainly have been worse and Alhamdulillah that it was not. I also wanted to say that Chloe handled the situation quite calmly, usually either standing or sitting by my side, only getting excited once my husband came to tell us that we could go back into the house, and promptly falling back to sleep once we got back inside. I also wanted to say that the sheriff and firefighters who arived on seen did an absolutely wonderful job. Once I knew the danger had passed, it was actually kinda cool to watch/listen to them/hear them work. I’d still like to know how my blinds melted inside of my house, yet my windows and other surrounding items were not touched. And this is my third house fire, I’m telling you, if I never see another fire in my life, I can’t say I’d be disappointed by it.
Anyway, Alhamdulillah, and please keep me in your prayers/thoughts/duas. I had difficulty falling back to sleep this morning, and when I did fall asleep I dreamed of fire. I only can hope and pray that the trauma of my most recent house fire hasn’t resurfaced, and I have to once again learn not to get worried or upset every time I smell smoke or hear the sound of fire or fireworks. Inshallah, everything willl be OK. I most certainly don’t want to be a drama queen about the whole thing.