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When the Fire Department says everything's okay, you assume the fire is out.

Last night, there was an electrical overload resulting in a blown out fuse, and a flaming outlet in my brother Devin's bedroom. He used a fire extinguisher and called the Seattle Fire Department. A truck showed up, they went inside, took out much of one of the walls, and decided everything was cool. So we all went back inside, and tried to get some sleep. Two hours later, I find I'm unable to sleep because Devin's roaring explatives downstairs. When I finally can't take anymore, I open my door only to be accosted by smoke, once again. Great.

This second flare up was aroung 2 AM.

So we call the FD, and they show up this time with five trucks, 3 command cars, two medic units, and some sort of back-up team in case anybody has been exposed to smoke. And the fire is serious, bursting out of my brother's basement room to lick the sides of our house. But it doesn't require all these guys. They're just there because their buddies fucked up.

Then City Light shows up, and pulls the plug on our house--whereas the original, brilliant team of firemen had wanted to replace fuses my bro had pulled so they could turn lights on down there. After two hours plus of standing around, we're told we can't go back into our house, can't have electricity till we get an electrician in, and will need to have many of our former windows boarded up due to the FD busting them in. So, on top of fire damage, we've also got to deal with the destructive power of axes and fire horses applied to areas of the house not even touched by the flames. And we have to wait for the Red Cross to get us somewhere to stay until our insurance company can take care of us.

Oh, and my mom's birds have died of smoke inhalation.

I'm typing from my dorm now, after having spent the night at a Day's Inn at a suburb of Seattle, and then helping my family transfer over to a Marriot today. I think I've had maybe four hours of scattered sleep in the last 36 hours or so. Outside of the disturbances and all, the rest of my family, dog included, is fine. Which is to say they aren't fine at all. But they're essentially physically healthy. I think Devin may have been exposed to a bit too much smoke, but damned if the paramedics on site checked with him.

Your tax dollars at work.


  1. Damn. Glad to hear just about everyone is ok. I hope everthing is taken care of for you, especially those hotel bills.


  2. The Fire Department should compensate your family for the items they damaged in their entry, although that is how it's done here in Georgia. I'm glad you're safe, and I hope and pray things will go well for your family. Devin should get examined later, if y'all can afford it, as paramedics can't be as thorough on-scene as we'd like.

    Is there anything you need?

  3. I'm alright, thanks. Just shaken up. My family is much the same.

  4. Oh, but the house, on the other hand... 6 months before the insurance company figures anyone can move back in, since they'll be handling the cleaning and repairs. And my parent's were already planning on moving into a condo this coming spring. So that's pretty much it for the house, as far as I'm concerned.

    The only long term home I've had. I feel pretty sad about that. But what can you do?


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