Friday, September 26, 2014

Just an Unattended Candle

From Rebecca:

We are in a 2 bedroom suite at the Parkside Hotel, here for 3 nights. With any luck, we will be back in our house 4 days. Alex’s room will require a major rework.

Alex went home at lunch for his spare, and lit a candle on a bedside table.

After school he didn't go in the house gut played with Kiwi in the yard for a few minutes and then went on bike to see his friends.

Duncan checking out the size of his dad's wallet
Dieder and Diane next door said they are tending a psychotic cat for someone.

 It was going crazy.

 Why was what Diane wondered.

 She looked out the window and then could hear the smoke alarm at my house.

 She saw black smoke from Alex’s window. Diedre ran to house and called for anyone in there to come out.

At the same time Diane called 911 and before she was off the phone with them, she could hear fire engines already. They are 1 1/2 min away from my house.

I arrived at 3:10. pm, An ambulance was ahead of me. It turned down the same streets I was turning down. Turned again my way. Then again my way.

When I arrive the 3 trucks had fire hoses in the house and 10 firefighters. There were neighbours on street.

Duncan with his bike helmet still on is standing there and his is bike is on the road. The police make me drive off into neighbour's driveway. More fire trucks are coming. But they have the fire already on. Fast call, fast response. Alex is nowhere. Kiwi is in the back yard. The firemen have gas masks on.

Rebecca at a calm moment during Roots and Blues
I am interviewed.

 I can’t think, about what did go on. T

hey are telling me, where is my son, get him here. W

hen they arrived, the house was open.

 They suspect arsonist.

I say no, I think it is an accident by one of my kids who might leave the door open. You can investigate other possibilities but I don’t think it is random person.

The firemen need to talk to Alex. I have left messages to him. The gas people have come. CTV people are there. Then I see Alex and a friend walking up hill with bike. The firemen want to talk to Alex. They say is this him.

Alex says, oh no. I know what happened. I had a candle on my desk and I didn’t blow it out before I left it out.

But I have already said, no my son doesn’t use candles.

The firemen reconstruct the position of everything. Beside table, etc. They were going to call in big scale investigators, but they ut might not need to. Their theory is that something was on bedside table, then to the covers on bed. Then to cork board.

Then we go back in with Alex to see what had happened.

There was a football jersey beside his bed. The candle burned down. There was no glass under it. The last bit of wax … would have just left a mark on wood. But the wax got onto football jersey which would have gone up whoooff, which was good for papers on cork board, which ignited the corkboard, then wood around cork board.

So, hopefully it is not through the drywall into roof. No structural damage, hopefully. The room is now black from smoke.

The floor is water. The bed is scorched and tossed. The firemen try to make sure no one is under the mattress. The are looking if someone had been killed and then house lit.

Water damage, they said, it is not so bad. But all of the house will have chemical smoke in the air. They have to clean it up. They only let us get stuff, but don’t say here, they said.

They walked me in to get insurance file.

They gave me a claim number. They called restoration people in 15 minutes. In half hour they were there.

I went to my bedroom. I thought yay, but soon I saw water damage coming through to my bedroom.

There have been fans all night. Air scrubber. Catching smoke. Most of house? TV room, mantel, if you lift anything up, a fine line of powder settle on everything. A big clean up.

Firemarshall estimated $20,000 work of damage for his stats gathering.

They wll have to rip down drywall. His jersey, number 74 has been formally retired. He won’t be wearing that to the game tomorrow.

I can’t find hotel we are to go to.

I think. It is only stuff. We have insurance. No one is hurt.

Steve during a thoughtful moment at Roots and Blues
Steve had rental car. He has 2 days in Campell River. He was getting the rental car while the fire was going on. He has gone now to Campbell Diver. He had fhb job of finding a hotel with a kitchen for 2 or 3 days that would take a dog.

Downtown is a difficult place to live. The hotel is one block behind the Empress, called The Parkside. Now I have to find someplace for Kiwi and us. She is going to the film class with me tomorrow. I have a new method of taking care of people: underwear and socks -- the essentials. We are fine. I have shirts. Buy what we need and keep receipts. I am trying to be efficient. Coordination is hard. I had to learn how to take the dog out to pee and how to get a coffee and a burger. Whoops. Can’t let the dog in there and I am bawled out. Go back outside. Sorry, we love dogs here. But pets can’t come inside.

They are right. I am wrong. If I stayed outside the waitress would have come out to help me. In an ordinary world, I could have figured this out all myself. Simple in an ordinary world but the world is not ordinary to me right now.

That is where I am at.

I had just been to the lawyer trying to find out how to get a nanny. I need a house that is monitored. The nanny who was going to come, she doesn’t have the right documentation for the visa people. Which means, structurally, the people I could check references on, they are probably already here illegally. A mess. How to find a nanny.

I will just put dog in car.

I will pick up Duncan after tutoring.

We will do Alex's football at 7:30.

Email is the way to get me.

Feel free to blog up the fire, Arta. When you have a fire, there are no secrets.


1 comment:

  1. I read the candle story a number of times and then read through the lines. It all happened so fast. Thinking of you.