February 16, 2013

A Chimney Fire and I Lose My Mental Capabilities

What an interesting Saturday! About an hour ago firetrucks and firemen pulled out of our driveway. We just finished vacuuming and wiping up soot, the windows are open, Mama's calling all our family, Amie's making lunch, and I'm informing the world.

Sitting in the rocker by the wood stove, starting the second chapter of  new book, I looked out the window and it was snowing! When it snows around here, you have to make sure and let everyone know. Thank goodness for that, because I didn't notice all the smoke that my mom and Amie did.

Mama went outside to inspect the chimney and she said black smoke was pouring out the top. When she opened the stove door, the smoke that came into the living room had a very strange smell, but the fire was so small. When she thumped the pipes a few times, we could hear some popping and it sounded like something falling inside the chimney, but we've heard it before - other times it's always been just the wind.

Any other Saturday, Daddy would have been in the next room getting his sermon ready, or outside doing whatever it is he does outside. But this Saturday, he's in Kentucky preaching a meeting.

Because it was 1:30, Mama didn't want to call Jacob and wake up the boys. Sickness has hit the whole family, and everyone's wiped out. She came back in the room a few minutes later and said "I went ahead and called them, Christine went out to get him. I hope I didn't wake anyone up!"

The next think I knew, the huge black Dodge was in the front yard, and Jacob's running in telling us to get salt to throw on the fire (sometimes, on a larger fire, water will just fuel the flames) and yanking the pipes out of the wall. He'd seen the smoke from the road, and apparently it was coming out of some of the cracks in the chimney, as well.

When you hear your big brother, of whom you still have the mindset can do anything, yell "Call 911!" you will panic. Thought you should know.

Mama called them, Amie found Jacob some gloves and a ladder, I got a pillow to stick in the thimble (that's what they call the hole in the wall the stove pipes go in) and then I ran around the house. (That's what it felt like.)

Jacob got on the roof with the water hose and began pouring water down the chimney, Mama and I started moving boxes and clothes away from the outside wall in the upstairs storage closet.

I ran downstairs because I was shaking so bad I lost all of my barely-there-anyway strength and was getting in Mama's way. As I came into the living room, the pillow was falling out of the thimble in flames. I caught it midair, and stared at it as I screamed. I discovered that when Daddy's not home, the first thing out of my mouth is "JAAAACOOOOB!!!!! JAAAACOOOOB! MAMA! JACOB!" Mama thought Jacob had fallen off the roof, I thought he had fallen off the face of the earth.

Mama took the pillow outside and put out the fire, put a lid over the hole, put the pillow on top of the lid, and stood there breathing smoke while I tried to get away from it. My lungs + smoke = not much good.

I ran outside and saw Amie standing at the bottom of the chimney, and I didn't think much about that. I ran all the way around the outside of the house, halfway down to  the barn, back inside and around the house, back outside and realized Amie was helping Jacob, who was on the roof with the water hose. I was pretty sure he'd left us alone. Next time, I'll think to look up.

I heard the sirens coming and ran inside to answer the phone, which was Christine, and I don't even think I said "hello?" As soon as those trucks pulled up and the men got out, it was like "snap!" we all relaxed. Jacob already had the fire out, and they brought their tools up to him and cleaned it out, came inside and opened some doors and windows and used their fan thing to clear out some of the smoke.

I am SO thankful Jacob lives less than two minutes away. I am SO thankful for the few little flurries we had this afternoon. I am SO thankful no one got hurt. At all. There was NO damage to the inside of our home. I am SO thankful for our great God, who, for some reason, chooses to show us just how much He loves and cares for us. In the most unique, seemingly random ways and times, He lets us know He's there. He's watching, and He's got it covered.

Jacob, Mama, and Amie, when faced with danger, know what do to and can keep their heads. I, when faced with danger, know what to do, and lose my head. This was a very serious and potentially dangerous situation. I'm so thankful we're all ok.

You always wonder how you'll react in situations like these, and I forgot how to think! I'll have to work on that.

And there was our Saturday. I bet it was more exciting than yours! ;)

P.S. I am also very thankful that our tiny little speck-on-the-map community has a volunteer fire station, and that there are volunteer firefighters. What a wonderful thing! One of the men was someone my mom had taught in school back in the day. :)


  1. Wow! It was more exciting than my Saturday!!! Just read your post to Patrick. :) Glad everyone is safe!


  2. So glad everyone's ok!! I'm not exactly cool headed in these type situations either! My husband had just told me this afternoon that your Daddy was in KY - thank goodness for family that live nearby. Hopefully Sunday will be a day of rest for you girls.

    1. Thank you! It's good to know I'm not the only one. :)We had a restful afternoon and are looking forward to some more tomorrow!

  3. Wow! Yeah, y'alls Saturday was definitely much more interesting then mine! lol Glad no one got hurt and everything is ok! So thankful we serve a God who is watching over us and keeps us safe!

  4. I am so glad that ya'll are okay, Kelley. Yes, the Lord is very good to take of us. Love you all.

    1. Thank you, Mrs. Jessica! I'm encouraged every time I read your blog. The one about the break in made me what to have more faith, you and your family are in my daily prayers!