Well I don't know where to really start. It happened to us on August 15, 2006 around 3 am. Jerry had fallen asleep on the couch & woke up because he smelt smoke. When he got up & looked, he saw a red glare on our wall from our garage. He ran & looked & thought it was the mower on fire so he ran woke me up & we got the kids up & ran out the front door. The smoke detectors went off just as we were running outside. I just thank God that he woke Jerry up with the smell because we wouldn't have been able to get out the front door had we waited for the detectors to go off.
As soon as we ran out the doors we had grabbed keys & moved our vehicles across the street. By time we were across the street our whole garage was gone and the flames were coming out of the roof. Jerry had called 911 as we were running out but by time they got there, the fire had already went through our south side of the house. It was the most horrible thing to sit across the street unable to do anything & no one there to just stop it. They were able to stop it before it reached the entire north side with the 3 bedrooms but everything that did not burn up is water, heat, or so far smoke damaged it's not salvagable.
At first all I could do was cry. Now that I've not been to the house every day, it's getting easier. What I just focus on now is that WE ALL GOT OUT SAFE & THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS! We can replace stuff, we can't replace people.
We finally found out last week that the insurance adjuster totaled the house. Which is good - because that pays off our mortgage and gives us money for a down payment on a new home. It just really stinks to have to wait though. Apartment life is really not for us. The kids have had a hard time just because there is no where to play out here (besides the parking lots & street - which I won't let them play on). But - it is a place to live and we've only signed a 3-month lease so we are not stuck here forever.
We are still inventorying everything which really SUCKS! I mean, you would think when they total a house, they'd be like okay - total contents too & give them the total coverage on that but nope. Real bummer that they don't do it that way because the spreadsheet we have to put everything is seems like a never ending job. And we have to replace everything within a year to get the depreciation back - okay this stuff has accumulated over 8 years and yet you're supposed to get it all back in one.
But all in all - this has been nothing but an eye-opening and learning experience for us. We have seen so much generosity in people that truly is unimaginable. It truly is amazing the help that everyone has provided us. People who didn't even know us offered to help. It really is amazing how generous and loving people are.