Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fire: A Story, with Pictures

Where were you on the evening of November 14th, 2005? I know where I was--Wal-Mart. My roommate and I went and I bought, among other things, a small heater and peach popsicles. As we pulled into our underground parking we heard a lot of sirens. "Those sound awfully close," we said. Why? Because our apartment was on fire, that's why.

Here is our laundry room. Apparently our third roommate heard what sounded like boiling water and opened her door to find the laundry room on fire. She ran out and called 911 and the rest is history. You can see pretty clearly where it started, and the heater is on the other side, behind the door. We figure the heater set something on the trash can on fire, but the firefighter people never made up their minds. They really tried to blame on the battery-operated sweeper/mop thing that had no batteries in it though.

Anyway, they had to redo that whole room and put in a new heater and water heater and washer and drying etc. etc. Also, apparently our cable and doorbell ran through that room so we lost our cable and the doorbell stopped working.

Other fun things about this experience: they had to repaint the whole apartment so we spent a night stacking up all of our stuff in the middle of our rooms. Then the painters threw other stuff on top of it, which was cool (they also broke the light in the dining room and got paint all over).

No heat! That's fun, right? Luckily I had my brand new little heater. I sat in front of that thing every night and did my homework. It served me well. Oh, and we had no hot water for a while too. We were kind of gross for a spell, but sometimes we'd heat up water on the stove to wash our hair.

I could go on and on about the wonderful things about fires* but instead I will list them all in bullet fashion:
  • No cable. I really missed coming home and flipping channels.
  • Soot gets evvvvvvverywhere. I still found it places almost a year later when I moved.
  • Smoke smells bad. Which made us smell bad. We were very dirty, smelly, cold people for about a month. Oh, and we couldn't do laundry so our clothes smelled too.
There were some good things too. Truth be told, I get a little nostalgic about that long, cold, dirty month. Partly because I get nostalgic about everything and partly because we got Goblet of Fire as a reward for our trials. It was a good reward. Also, we got our rent cut in half for that month. I bought Dear Frankie with my fire money.

Finally, I will give you one last factoid. Today I happened to be wearing the same sweater I was wearing that night. The cuffs got rather blackened from walking around and packing up my stuff for the night, and they are still a bit dingy. Can you tell? They are, even if you can't tell:
*Just for the record, I know our fire really wasn't that bad. We didn't lose anything more valuable than our random laundry room items like soap and spare lightbulbs. Plus, we didn't have pay for any of the fixing. So really...it wasn't that bad. Just saying...I know I'm a lucky duck.


  1. You're the only person I know whose had any kind of experience with a fire. Doesn't sound like fun.
    I'm kind of surprised they made you pay any kind of rent at all - your apartment sounds like it was more like an shelter with four walls for a month, rather than a home.

  2. I can't believe they expected you to live in that apartment while they fixed it up! I'm glad you can look back on that experience and find some good points, though.

  3. You will never get those light bulbs back, Julie. How can you just brush it off like so? Those light bulbs are GONE FOREVER!!!

    Ok, sorry. I just get kind of emotional when it comes to light bulbs perishing in fires.

    I am glad you still wear your sweater. It is stylish and hip. Ta!

  4. Whoa, half rent for a month!? *impossible thoughts running through my head...*