How a neighbours house fire changed my perception of my relationship with my home.

Very recently I returned home with my two littles in the car. As I was unloading them , and all their paraphernalia, I thought I could hear an alarm going off. Soon after, I could swear I could smell a faint burning, like toast. I am known in our family for being a little OTT with these kinds of things, but I pulled my husband out from what he was doing to mind the kids, and took off, to check it out. I was quite sure I wouldn’t find anything.

I ran into my neighbour and told him what I could hear and smell. He couldn’t hear or smell what I could, but joined me as we started tracking the faint sound I could hear. We knocked on doors, with me and my ears leading the way. Until, we found it. A double fronted Victorian house, with a smoke alarm going off inside. We knocked on the door and heard the desperate meows of a cat. We made our way around the house until we could see a long window, up high, and through that glass was thick grey smoke. With a heightened pace we moved around to the back doors, with my neighbour warning me not to try and open any doors, if we were to do that and there was a fire, the air might exacerbate it.

I had, in my haste, left my phone at home, but Peter, my neighbour dialed the fire brigade. We gave our details and very soon afterwards we heard the welcome sirens of two fire trucks.

To cut a long story short, the upshot was that the owners had been poaching chicken for their kittens that morning, before work, and had forgotten to turn the pan off. The pan had incessantly smoked, causing the smoke alarm to go off. I had heard it, and thankfully there was no damage.

Soon the house was secured, the police had got in contact with the owners and we had all gone home. Later that day one of the ownerscame over with one of their two kittens to thank us. The kittens were not harmed, and neither was the house. Just the very strong smell of smoke through everything. They told me that the smoke was so thick that you could only see the bottom of the floor up close. They felt overwhelmingly lucky.

It got me thinking about how one of the key relationships we have in our lives, is the one we have with our homes. And so today is a message for you to invest in that relationship, by checking your smoke alarms, and talking to your housemates about a fire plan or an emergency. Also, learn from me, if you think you hear an alarm go off, or believe there is an emergency, remember to take your phone.

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