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I Believe in House Fires
My phone rang as I walked down the Easter section in Dillon’s. It is my sister. She sounds so frantic. I can’t comprehend anything that she is saying to me. Through the sobs I catch her saying “Lindsy! Get out of the house!”
What is she talking about? Why do I need to get out of my house? I’m not even home!
I told my sister to calm down, and that I was at the store with mom getting things for Easter tomorrow. She got a grip, and let out a sigh of relief. Still in tears, she told me to, “Get the hell home! The house is burning down!”
I shut my phone and told my mom what happened. Forgetting everything going on around us, we left the cart full of Easter dinner and we both sprinted to the car.
The ride home is a bit foggy. My mind was racing. Why did this have to happen to us? Haven’t we been through enough this past year? First cancer took grandma, a few months later grandpa Levi passed away, and just last month mom was in the hospital on the brink of death. We really don’t need this right now!
Tears fall from my face as I look at my mom for comfort. She blames herself for the fire, believing that she started it from leaving the stove top on with eggs boiling. She blamed herself for killing our three cats and two dogs.
Our pets I didn’t even think about them! Where are they? Are they still alive? The dogs may be okay since they live outside. The cats are the ones in real trouble! Oh God, please no!
We round the corner near our house. Unable to drive down the street we park the car a block away. Sprinting towards my house I see my sister on the curb. She has her head buried between her knees as she rocks back and forth. When she hears me, she springs up and screams at me for scaring her. She entered the nightmarish scene of our burning house to find my mom and me.
Terrified I walk up the street to get a better view of the mess. Fire trucks are everywhere. Men in big bulky yellow, astronaut looking suits, walk in and out the front door. From the street you can’t really see the damage caused by the furious flames that engulfed the interior of our home. The only sign that a fire even exists is the horrid smell of burning plastic mixed with the never ending stench of campfire.
My stomach had a rollercoaster feeling, flipping all directions within me, making me feel like vomiting. All I could think about were my cats.
Where were they? Why haven’t they found them yet? Could they really be dead?
Right when those thoughts left my mind a sight that I still have nightmares of was dropped right before my eyes.
A huge lump filled my airways leaving me gasping for air. My heart ripped out of my chest as my eyes flooded over with tears and sounds of terror escaped my mouth. Collapsing into the arms of my sisters, I look at the patches of charred skin where fur once was. I see the blisters where his ears used to perk up at the unknown sounds of the house. His motionless body lay limp in the green spring grass. My oldest companion Tommy was forever gone. The first animal I had ever brought home vanished from my life in only five minutes.
A man came up to us letting us know that all three of our cats did not make it. That the flames danced around them as the smoke suffocated the helpless animals.
The day after the fire the firemen told us we can enter the house to only grab what is really needed for work and school. None of us were prepared for what we were about to see.
Opening the front door all we see is black ash covering every nook and cranny around the house. My parents told me to get my back pack and get out of the house.
Why would I want to stay in here. My cats lives were taken here and I can’t even breathe!
The horror of that day still lives with my family day in and day out. Sure we may have lost our cats and our home but in the end we still had each other. For the next four months we lived in a duplex that didn’t allow animals so my neighbors took care of our dogs while our house was being fixed up.
Signs of the fire still exist in our household, from the burn marks on the cemented walls in our storage area to the new furniture, floors, and colors of paint on the walls. Since that day my family has grown tighter as a unit by cherishing every living moment we have together and not taking anything for granted.
This is why I believe in house fires.