Wednesday, July 14, 2010 will be a day that we will always remember. It was the day that our lives as we knew it would be turned upside down.
Emma left with my parents on Tuesday to go camping up north for the remainder of the week. It couldn't have been better timing. I headed off to work on Wed. and when I got there received a frantic message that I needed to get home, there was an emergency. I got back to my apartment complex to find multiple fire trucks, police cars and ambulances. I walked up to see my apartment in flames. Rob and Arabel were able to get out safely, so that was priority number one. Rob had called 911 and grabbed Arabel out of bed. He left the house without shoes or his cell phone. After the fire had been put out we met with the Red Cross when we were notified that the firefighters called our home a complete loss. Jason had come to get Arabel and take her back to my parent's house. They finally let us walk through the place at around 9:15pm.
What we saw was heartbreaking. There was no fire damage to the actual apartment, the fire had climbed the wall and moved across the roof. Due to the mass amounts of water (around 5,000 gallons according to the fire marshall) the ceilings had collapsed and our house was covered in drywall and insulation. The office, girls' room, bathrooms, master closet and laundry room were unharmed. We were unable to find the cats and we were worried. The living room, dining room, kitchen and master bedroom were ruined. We grabbed a few things that night that we could and headed to mom's.
Thursday morning we showed up ready to start digging through the rubble to salvage what we could of our lives. Thursday proved to be worse than anticipated. The fire has restarted sometime in the morning, needing an additional 1,000 gallons of water to be used. Now, the bathrooms, laundry room and master bedroom closet was covered like the rest of the place. The girls' room remained in tact so we were very thankful for that. After hours of digging through 1 1/2-2 feet of wet insulation we packed up what we could in a U-Haul and put it in a storage unit. The firefighters did take our electronics and throw a tarp over them so many of them were saved. They even grabbed my framed photos on the walls and covered them as well. Still no sign of the cats.
Friday we went and planned on getting the remainder of what we could and would then sign over the place to the reconstruction company. After about an hour of Rob and I sifting through rubble Zoe, one of our cats, strolls out of hiding. Rob then went on a mad hunt to find Oscar. Rob found him on the bottom shelf of a shelving unit in the laundry room. He was buried in, matted with insulation, hungry, thirsty and really upset. My aunt took them to her house. I am happy to report that they are doing well. We left Friday night knowing we would never be back.
Emma knows that we are getting a new place to live, that her toys, clothes and bed are safe. We are telling her just enough to keep her happy without over sharing.
The outpouring of support we have received from friends, family and strangers is overwhelming. We will never be able to express how thankful we are. At this point we are remaining positive and looking forward to what comes next. The tears have stopped for the most part and we are ready to move on from this tragedy.
If you need to contact us in anyway... we are staying at my (Kimm's) parent's house. Our cell phone numbers are the same and we can also be reached via facebook. (Kimm more so than Rob on the facebook thing.) If you need any specific information leave a comment and I will get you the information.