Theodore's World: Thank You To Fire Station 8

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January 19, 2009

Thank You To Fire Station 8

As many of you know, I get off the computer early evening and then spend the evening with Nicholas . I come back online around midnight to work on posts for the next day. Usually it takes about 4 to 5 hours and I am done by 5 a.m. or so and then I go to sleep.

While I was working on posts for today, it was around 2 in the morning , I started to smell something like smoke. A few minutes later one of the smoke alarms went off. Nicholas has put one on the ceiling of each room throughout the house. The only alarm that was going off was the one in the living room. I thought it was the battery because I didn't see any smoke or fire but I could not figure out how to turn it off to put a new battery inside. I thought the smoke smell might be coming from outside or down the street. Someone with a wood burning fireplace since the nights have been a lot cooler then usual.

I turned on the light and got the small ladder to try and reach up to open it up. But as I turned on the light I saw the room was filled with a thin veil of smoke.

The smoke was inside our house and creeping into the kitchen nearby and the dining room... just slowing moving through the house.

Our kitty, Missy and our dog Sebastian were right at my side, following me from room to room. I woke Nick up and told him what was happening He had been sound asleep so he told me to do the talking and call 911. They were great and asked if there was a fire I said not that I could see but I asked if it could be electrical. I told her I turned off the heater just in case. And I as I was on the phone I was shutting down my computer.

We waited outside for the firemen to come and zoom they were here so fast. They were wonderful and ended up OK.

No fire, they said the smoke was from the AC/ heater and the engine/motor whatever it is had gotten very hot. And there was some plastic next to it. This part is important because 3 months ago we had it all fixed and this was the first time we had turned on the heat. But it had been on for two days straight since it has been in the 50's to 60 all three days in the day time and colder at night.

Thank God it was not electrical that is what really scared me. I have heard stories how a home can burn down in minutes if it is electrical.

The firemen were so wonderful and asked me what I was doing up so late. haha So I told them how I had a blog and worked on it during the night. Nick handed them one of my little cards I hand out to people with the site address.

Sebastian made some new friends as some of the firemen were petting him while we talked afterward. And Missy being a kitty,decided she would wait till the all clear and then come back in the house from the patio.

So a HUGE thank you to Fire Station 8 and the firefighters.

Now we are to call the AC/Heater people and have them come and make it so this won't happen again.

I have to tell you this was very scary. Thank God all is ok.

Posted by Wild Thing at January 19, 2009 04:55 AM


Glad to hear all is well. Electrical fires scare me too. Liz and I have an old house so i worry about it. We have had it checked and the electricians say its ok but...

Posted by: James M at January 19, 2009 06:25 AM

Oh my, what a nerve wracking ordeal! I'm glad all is well in your neck of the world. I'll bet you're still shaking. I know I would be.

Posted by: Lynn at January 19, 2009 06:26 AM

Wow, glad that all worked out!

I'm pretty fearless, but fire is one of my fears...I have a big respect for fire fighters and the work they do. They never know when or what they are going to face.

My husband is a sprinklerfitter, so I know quite a bit about fire suppression stuff...but would you believe, I don't even have a smoke detector? (in the house, there's one in my RV) I have a nose like a bloodhound (I hate when the neighbors burn stuff and I have to go out and look around all my buildings and make sure something isn't on fire.) But that is no excuse for not having one.

To top it off, I know what it's like to be woke up in the middle of the night by fire engines. Ever wonder what you'll take out with you if there's a fire? In my case nothing. I could barely get It was across the street but I couldn't tell until after I'd already gone through the panic.

So I'm impressed with your detectors. And again, glad it all worked out and that you were up and found that smoke before it made you all sick.

Posted by: Eden at January 19, 2009 06:53 AM

The AC/Heating techs were Goreons and liberals no doubt! We have 'kids' working up here that have to be questioned AFTER they provide

Posted by: darthcrUSAderworldtour07 at January 19, 2009 08:22 AM

OOh! I am so glad that you are all safe and sound!!
Nothing like burning plastic! ick!
Firefighters hold a special place in my heart - my brother had several as friends in our younger days. Boy, can they party!! lol Great guys , all!

Posted by: yankeemom at January 19, 2009 09:32 AM

Glad everything is ok.

Last summer I had my circuit breaker box overheat and fuse a circuit breaker close, which emitted fumes. I called the fire department and they were here in a heartbeat. Once I got everyone outside, I got my Mustang out of the to save what's important.

I found out that if the buss bar in your circuit breaker box is aluminum, you could be in for big trouble in the future. My new box has one made of copper.

Posted by: BobF at January 19, 2009 09:49 AM

Good thing you have those smoke detectors. I sure believe in them. Also nice to know you have such a responsive fire department. That has to be a comfortable feeling. Glad all turned out well at Main Base Theodore.

Posted by: TomR at January 19, 2009 10:27 AM

Material things are not worth losing a life over.
keep important doc. in a good fire safe.Do not stand up in a smoke filled room,get under-get out!Firemen are the only ones who will run into a fire-get everyone else out!Glad you & Nick are OK.

Posted by: chief at January 19, 2009 10:34 AM

Phew! Thankful this had a "happy ending," WT! And so glad that you, Nicolas, Sebastian and Missy are all okay - even if somewhat shaken up.

I am curious though. If you are up until 5A - how late do you sleep in?!? My goodness you're going to bed shortly after I get up 4:30, like clockwork without an alarm. [Of course I'm in bed by 10P every night.]

Posted by: BT in SA at January 19, 2009 10:43 AM

Glad you are ok...we NEED your blog! My two Great Pyrenees, Dudley and Liberty are glad that Sebastian is protecting you.

Posted by: Steve Gaston at January 19, 2009 11:32 AM

WoW....Glad you and Nick and all are OK!!!! Also very glad you detectors were working!!! So many people put them in but then forget to maintain them (new batteries, etc.). I hope your AC/Heating guys make sure everything is working properly in the future.

There was a fire in Ft Wayne (near where I live) this past weekend and the outcome was not as good. A mother and 2 of her children perished in the fire!!

When it comes to fires, I am probably paranoid!!! We have detectors in every room of our house!!! When I was about 5 years old, I remember my father carrying me out of our house because it had filled up with smoke. Ever since, I have a tremendous respect for fire!!!

Again.....glad everything worked out OK.

Posted by: John at January 19, 2009 12:18 PM

Glad You and Nick are ok.

As Darth says, it might not be a bad idea to have that Air/Heater unit Re-checked. If the motor got hot, then there is a problem. Also there are supposed to be motor Overloads in the circuit,(If it got hot enough to melt plastic the OL should have opened/tripped and shut the unit down.) Motors are not supposed to get so hot to cause anything nearby to melt, especially, plastic or surounding wiring. If it got hot enough to melt or even soften plastic, a dollar to a donut, says, the insulation on the wires could also be affected.

Also the circuit it was plugged into should also be checked.

Posted by: Mark at January 19, 2009 12:41 PM

So glad you, Nick and the 'children' are all OK. What a scare, it was good that you were up and awake too.

Yes Darth, Goreons!!! Excellent advice Mark, if a circuit breaker overloaded and didn't trip or even if it did trip, there are no assurances that the breaker wasn't harmed, personally I'd replace that circuit's breaker with a new one and inspect everything on that circuit, calculate the total load then verify it with the clamp on ammeter. One thing that all motors need is ventilation or cooling, if an air vent is obstructed by leaves or debris it can cause otherwise normal temperatures to rise drastically.

Far too many homes were once wired with Aluminum wiring, that has been the source of way too many fatal home fires. If anyone is unfortunate enough to live in a house wired with such wiring, inspect all the connections, Make sure they are all tight, especially those with high or continuous loads, dryers and ranges are the worst. If any are 'black' turn off the power first, clean and apply the anti-corrosion barrier then retighten the connections to the appropriate torque. It's nice to rewire with copper but that isn't always feasible after the fact. I just rewired an old post and tube system last year, prior to that I'd found a 50 Amp bakelite master fuseholder glowing bright red on the clothes dryer circuit, that fuse failed due to the intense heat. Currently that home has a 200 Amp breaker system with all copper wire.

Eden, please install at least one, the bedroom is a good place or go for the gusto and put one in every room, it's the cheapest insurance you'll ever pay for. Don't forget CO detectors too. Humans can't rely on their senses, be it smell, hearing or visual, all is lost in sleep and CO is the real killer in a fire.

Posted by: Jack at January 19, 2009 02:25 PM

WT - Glad all turned out as well as it did. As I was reading the chronology of your story I had a momentary thought that you must have been writing another "smokin hot" Obama blog item that set off the smoke alarm.

Posted by: Les at January 19, 2009 02:27 PM

Glad all turned out well for ya'll.

Posted by: Old Soldier at January 19, 2009 03:07 PM

James M., thank you. Our house is old too, I agree things like this need to be watched and checked.

The ac/heater man came today within the hour that I called to tell him about it. Some part inside had totally melted.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 19, 2009 03:37 PM

On Behalf of Rush I would like to take this opportunity to talk to you about "Carbonite" just before one of these "Obscene Profit Breaks". I'm just kidding, I'm very glad you're all okay. You all have someone looking out for you.

Posted by: JohnE PFC U.S. Army at January 19, 2009 03:45 PM

Lynn, yes I was very quiet which is how I get when I am afraid. I felt better when I knew it was not electrical that terrifies me. But I was still afraid till the ac/heater guy came today.

Some part inside engine had all the plastic coating inside of melted. They came right after I called so that was good too.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 19, 2009 03:46 PM

Eden, thank you so much., yes they are really loud and that can make a persons heart beat faster too just from the loud noise.

I gained a lot of respect for the detectors after this. I always thought one was plenty. But now I see Nick was so right, to have them spread out from room to room. I forget about them since each one is placed in a corner up in the ceiling.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 19, 2009 03:52 PM

Darth, I think most of these guys might have been Republicans. I had a Sarah Palin t-shirt on since I can't wear it out anymore I wear it around the house and a couple of the guys said.... like your shirt, she is awesome.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 19, 2009 03:55 PM

Yankeemom, thank you so much, yes they sure can. Thank you for sharing about your brothers friends. giggle they are awesome.

One of our nephews is a firemen in New York. He and his fellow firefighters come to visit often. They have visited us every year since we lived in Calif. We just tell them to go out and have fun and they laugh and tell us we will be careful,haha like we are their mom and dad. haha

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 19, 2009 04:04 PM

Bob F. wow I am so glad it all went ok. And thank you so much for the information too about the copper.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 19, 2009 04:14 PM

Tom, thank you so much.
When all the excitment was going on it was so cute how our kitty just calmly walked through the house and out onto the patio and looked over at all of us. Like I will be over here after you take care of all of this. Cats are great. And Sebastian thought it was his own personal event, he always acts like if anyone comes over they are his friends and they are here to see him. haha So he greeted everyone no matter how many firemen there were.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 19, 2009 04:22 PM

Chief, thank you, it sure went well. But I did learn something, a person cannot think when this happens it has to be reflex and I agree all of that needs to be done, we do have our house papers etc., in a fire proof safe.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 19, 2009 04:27 PM

BT in SA, thank you, I am uauslly in bed by 5 sometimes 6 then I get up at 10 and if I don't have a client at the gym I sleep till 11.

I miss the early mornings, but I don't want to risk not having all the posts done before I go to sleep and then worrying about it. This way I sleep like a baby with all the posts done and anyone can stop by while I am sleeping to see the new posts.

Nick kids me that I am putting out a newspaper in the night like newspapers do. haha He has a point, I even nicknamed it PC Free Zone Gazette.

Sometimes late afternoon I might take a 30 minute nap,but so far I am ok with little sleep.

My goal for 2009 is to get posts done early so all I have to do is click them to post around midnight and then go to sleep early.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 19, 2009 04:36 PM

Steve Gaston, thank you, those are great dogs. I love the names Steve..... Dudley and Liberty.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 19, 2009 04:38 PM

John, thank you. That is so sad what happened in Ft Wayne.

I am so glad you are ok too from your experience as a child.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 19, 2009 04:40 PM

Mark, thank you, and thanks for the input.

I called the ac/heater guy right away this morning and he came over within the hour. Checked it out and did the things you just said, also he showed me a cylinder looking thing with wires and plastic that had been inside the motor and all the plastic stuff had melted.

I am going to show Nick all the input from you and everyone on here too. He will really appreciate it too.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 19, 2009 04:46 PM

Jack you so much, I am showing all these comments to Nick too.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 19, 2009 04:54 PM

Les, hahahaha yes.
It was kind of funny in a way. I had just finished one of the posts and there was no way I was not going to be sure to hit the save button before I got out of the house.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 19, 2009 04:57 PM

Old Soldier, thank you. I prayed that's for sure.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 19, 2009 04:59 PM

JohnE PFC U.S. Army, LOL good one.

I believe in that kind of thing. I have one called LaCie backup I use. I am so glad, the computer I had before this one I had already been using the LaCie backup and oh my gosh. After I got my new computer all the tech guy had to do was load it up with all my graphics, bookmaks, programs etc. email addresses everything had been saved.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 19, 2009 05:02 PM