Last night after movie-date night, when I had conked out due to the two bottles of wine followed by cocktails, at about 3am every light in my bedroom flipped on. I sat up and my husband says "FIRE! GET UP GET DRESSED NOW! FIRE!" or something like that. I stumble out of bed put on bra, shorts, tshirt and roll to the living room.
He's putting on his own shoes and says he's running downstairs to move the car for the fire dept (our parking spot is sort of IN FRONT of the stairwell).
He tells me it's the appt BENEATH us on fire.
While he is gone, I hear their alarm beeping.
Beeeeeeeep Beeeeeeeeep Beeeeeeeeeep Beeeeeeeeep.
I wonder how the fire department will get IN through our community gate. I mean, how DO they get in? Is there some universal fire department code at every gated community? As I pondered this my husband came bursting back through the door.
"Grab a kid we have to go NOW"
We each grabbed a twin, I took Lil Satchmo's hand and headed for the door. I slung the diaper bag over my shoulder and my husband opened the door.
Mothers nightmare. Hallway filled with smoke. Horrible burning smell. "Did you call 911 how do you know they are coming?" He says "Because they are here."
We drag the kids down the stairs and over to the now moved car and waited.
I stood there,watching the firefighters work, considering the situation.
They brought an engine and an aerial truck. So they weren't fucking around they came prepared. Good to know.
You know what you think about, as the men in full bunker gear descend down the smoke filled hallway beneath your dwelling? You start to think about all the stuff that is in there, and that despite your insurance - all the things that cannot be replaced. The photographs. All our photographs. The cedar chest that my great grandfather made. The stuff. All our stuff that composes our lives. The stuff we recently got. The stuff we picked up when we first set up household. Our lives. My DVD copy of THE CRIPPLED MASTERS.....how would I replace it? (joking, I KNOW the Easter Bunny would find me another copy. or santa. or whomever brought it.)
Then you adjust the squirming crying three year old in your arms and realize how true something we always say is. It's just stuff. The only thing that matters was with The Husband and I, wearing either Toy Story or Dinosaur jammies.
I realized they hadn't pulled hoses off the engine or the aerial. I realized that there was a guy SITTING in the aerial. They switched off the lights. These were good signs. The smell was ungodly, even from a distance. Eventually one of the guys in bunker gear came over and told us we could go back in, and offered to use the fan on OUR apartment is the smell was bad in there. We said we didn't think it was, but he said just to let him know.
I changed diapers and read a story while the husband went to check on the neighbors to see if they had someplace to stay or what. Lil Satchmo suggested a story before bed, so we had a quick one and then I went myself and stretched out in bed.
The husband ended up loaning the neighbor our microwave that was in the garage. Something shorted out or caught on fire in their kitchen, and their microwave was no more, plus he said their cabinets and stove were trashed. They had company with a baby. Not a fun visit for their friends, most likely.
This morning I rolled out of bed with a screaming headache. Booze? Stress? I dunno. But when my Mr. Coffee beeped to tell me it was done, Lil Satchmo said "Don't worry Mom, that is your coffee pot - not the fire alarm."
Yeah. I know. Thank God.