The last thing I wanted to do at 3:00 A.M. was call 911 and have the Fire Department come to my house. I really didn’t want to rush around, wake up the kids and get them dressed. I really didn’t want to throw clothes in a bag quickly, (my kids, not mine) and grab the file out of the file cabinet with our important documents. I really didn’t want to have strangers roaming around my house when I should be sleeping.
Last night, I had to do all of that. My husband woke me up, and I was going to scream at him for doing that. He was really calm about it, said he knew I wouldn’t want to wake up, but he couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I immediately climbed out of bed, and any harsh words I might have said left my mind. I was scared. Big time scared.
I went out to the kitchen, and I gagged. Something was burning, but I couldn’t image what. There was no smoke, just a really awful smell. Like wires were burning. All kinds of possibilities went through my mind. I told him we needed the Fire Department to come out. Since we could not figure out the source of the odor, we had no choice. My husband went in and woke up the kids. I went and got dressed.
As the kids were getting dressed, I grabbed some of their clothes, and threw them into a bag. I didn’t care about me and my husband. I just couldn’t stop thinking that if there was a fire inside the walls, and my house burnt down, my kids were going to have a couple changes of clothes. I grabbed our important documents that are stored in the file cabinet. There were more in our fire safe, but I didn’t even think about that. I just knew I wanted the file with the kids birth certificates and our marriage license. I also grabbed the bills and checkbook. I was quick. By the time the kids were dressed, I had everything together, coat on, and the fire truck was in front of the house. They were quick very fast.
I guess there are benefits to only living a few miles away from the fire station. I had never really thought about it before, but last night, I was so thankful. They came in, and immediately agreed that something was wrong. However, they also felt that it was ok if we stayed in the house while they investigated. They didn’t seem to think we needed to be out in the cold at that moment. The one fireman said that if that changed, he would tell us.
It took them awhile to determine what the cause was. They determined that it wasn’t coming from anything under the house, or in the walls. The breakers were all working, and they told us that at least one of them would have been triggered if there was an electrical problem. Finally, they determined that it was probably our refrigerator. We unplugged it, and had to give it time to see if that is the problem. Before they left, we were given the direct number to their fire house and told to call if things got worse, instead of better.
Now, here in the house by myself, I am still having to put up with that smell. It has improved. I’m not gagging on it. I moved everything out of the refrigerator. I put all the frozen stuff into our other freezer, and the cold things into a cooler with some ice. The cooler is now sitting outside, where it is really cold.
I have to admit, I did over-react a bit. I called my parents while I was rushing around. They are still in Florida, 100′s of miles away, helping my sister. Of course, no one answered. It was about 3:30 AM at that point. I was surprised that a little while later, my phone rang. It was my mom wanting to know what was going on that I had to call at that time. Not the smartest thing to do. They couldn’t have done anything, and I didn’t even know what was going on. The main reason I called, was because I could only think that if it was serious, would I have another chance to call? Was there a gas leak of some kind, and we would all have to go to the hospital? The smell was horrendous. I was scared. And I knew that if it was serious, and I hadn’t called, then my mom would be really upset at me. Now, I’m sure she’s really upset that I did call and it wasn’t serious.
My son had a hard time going back to bed afterwards. I don’t think my daughter was able to get back to sleep. I, thankfully, was able to get a little more sleep. It’s difficult to explain what is going on to a NT child, but it was extremely difficult to get my autistic son to understand. We were dressed, a couple bags were packed, the firemen were gone, it was time to go. Somewhere. That’s what my son thought. He was really determined, too. We only get up at that time, get dressed and have bags packed when we are going somewhere.
Add to that, today is his birthday. He told us he wanted to go to the beach for his birthday. I just know that he was thinking that we should be getting into the car to go, and not putting pajamas back on and going to bed. I’m also really sad, because it looks like we won’t be able to get to the beach this weekend. Since we have to replace the refrigerator, I just don’t see how we can afford to even take him for a day. I feel really bad about that. He doesn’t get a birthday party, because he doesn’t have friends. He’ll be lucky if he gets one birthday present. Sometimes, life just sucks.