Three Sundays ago July 21 at 4 p.m. just as we were leaving to water and feed the horses, there was a bright flash of lightening around the car and a large boom as I drove out of the garage. As it started to pour rain, I drove back into the garage and went up the stairs to find out what was keeping Caroly. She shouted, "The house is on fire!!" The smoke alarms were all going and there was the smell of smoke. I rushed up to the third floor to the master bedroom and flames were shooting out of the closet ceiling light like a flame thrower. Lightening had struck the house. I grabbed my cell phone and called 911 while I rushed down the stairs to get the fire extinguisher. I gave the phone to Caroly to give the fire department directions. By the time I was back up the stairs, the smoke was so thick I couldn't even see the flames. I rushed downstairs, got both cars out of the garage and left the garage doors open and opened the front door for the fire department. By then the fire engines had arrived. They had the fire out in no time, but as you can see, the pink upstairs was redone in "basic black".
The mess was from the firemen tearing out everything from the closet and tearing out the ceilings to check for fire in the attic. The red is the tarps the firemen put over the bed and the office desk to protect everything. We weren't allowed in for three days to salvage anything. We lost most of our clothes but our home movies, our family art pictures, and our temple clothes were untouched. We just tried out the computer yesterday. It works so you can get his blog report.
We thought we'd be able to continue to live in the other two stories of the house but the electricity wasn't turned on for over two weeks and then this week the insurance company said we'd have to move out for 2 months while they moved everything out, cleaned up and reconstructed the third floor. Our lease is up in two months so the landlord released us from our lease. For the last four days we've been moving our stuff into a storage unit and moving from living in our car and at the laundromat while getting the smell of smoke out of our few rescued clothes into Sage's house until our new log home is finished.
Luckily the house came fully furnished and most of our stuff was already in storage in a shed at the farm, so we had minimal losses. We just had our piano, some beds, and other things set up on the ground floor for visiting grandchildren. The burned up clothes were old and needed replacing anyway.
The owner was so lucky that we were living there. The surrounding homes are vacation homes with no one living there. If we had left for feeding the horses just one minute earlier, the house would have burned to the ground, and that might have been the case if I hadn't fallen asleep on the couch at 3 when we originally had planned to leave. From the outside, you couldn't even tell that there was a fire until it was out and they opened the windows to blow out the smoke. There was no sign of where the lightening struck, but the fuse breaker for the master bedroom and bath was tripped. You might know that Florida is the lightening capital of the world!
We took over Mary and Stephen's room with farm animals painted on the wall to help get us into the Farmer Thompson mode of things. I get to have my morning swim in the family pool. We told Sage to pretend that "Alice" from the Brady Bunch just moved in to help out. I guess I am the new pool guy and handyman.