Monday, March 25, 2013

Burning Down The House - LITERALLY pt. 2

So last week I reported that there had been a pretty horrible fire in my apartment building.

Burning Down The House - LITERALLY

Now I had never dealt with anything like a fire or a flood before.

Hell I don't even live in a place that deals with Hurricanes or Tornado's. I live in Canada!  Worst we get is seriously shitty snow and ice storms.

So I figured I'd impart some of my newly acquired wisdom.

1 - Never EVER EVER leave candles burning unattended and make sure that when you do burn them, they are not near anything flammable.  LIKE YOUR BED.  No joke people.  A simple candle on a bedside table caused a major fire that destroyed 2 apartments, heavily damaged 3 more and generally fucked up another 10-12.  We all logically know that candles can be dangerous but I'm sure nobody would expect to come out of the washroom to find their bedroom engulfed in flames from a single candle. 

2 - Fire is scary shit.  I'm not talking a little OMG I burnt the toast fires.  I'm talking OMG there is a wall of flames and I can't exit the building because the smoke is so thick I can't breathe.  That kind of fire is scary as hell.

3 - Have insurance.  Just trust me.  Have it.  What this made me realize is that if I ever had a fire, all those books I own?  That shit would just become kindling.  

4 - Just because you THINK you know how you'll react in an emergency doesn't mean shit when you're actually IN AN EMERGENCY.  When the alarms went off and I looked into the hall the smoke was already pretty bad.  I had about 1 minute to put pants on, grab my cellphone and stuff a freaking-out cat into his carrier and get the hell out of dodge.  As it was, I had to walk through smoke filled hallways and stairwells to get out.  If I had waited even a minute longer it would have been bad. 

5 - In a fire, don't lock your bloody front door.  Learn from my mistake.  My instinct was just to secure my apartment not thinking that the fire department is going to have to clear each unit looking for people passed out from smoke inhalation.  They kicked in my front door as a result.  Gotta love the fire department.  They're effective.

6 - At the end of the day possessions are just things.  It's just stuff!  Stuff can be replaced.  Don't waste precious time trying to pack things up.  I mean hell I didn't even grab my purse.  I grabbed my phone because it was right in front of me and my furbaby.  If anything a fire or emergency makes you realize what's important.  The cat of the people who lived in the unit that caught fire unfortunately didn't make it.  It's heartbreaking especially when you find out that the woman who lit the candle was 6 months pregnant.  Take care of yourself and who matters to you because you never know when something like this can happen.

BTW....reports from the Toronto Fire Department indicate that the smoke in the building was so bad that at one point the fire fighters themselves were running out of air and had to evacuate so a third crew could go in. 

I was a floor above the fire and one apartment over.  That's too close for comfort.  And as it is, every square inch of my apartment needs to be washed and my walls painted.  Also every single cupboard, closet, shelf needs to be cleaned out and the contents cleaned.  Not to mention my linens, clothes, towels and pillows all need to be washed as well.  Thankfully my parents live close by and were able to come get me because I wasn't able to go back to my apartment till Sunday which was almost 4 days after the fire.  And trust me, it still stinks like a campfire there. 

Moral of the story?  Don't fuck with fire.  Because you're gonna lose.



p.s. I'm totally baking cookies for the guys at the firehouse.  I mean despite them kicking in my front door they worked hours and hours to ensure our homes were safe and put themselves at risk. I know it's their job and all but still, they deserve a treat.

Also thanks for all the love and well wishes.  Jasper is staying with my parents for the week and I'm still in clean-up mode.   Other than some small things that needed to be thrown out nothing was damaged that a little soap and some elbow grease can't fix.


  1. Eeega... very chilling to think about just how close you were. And you know, yeah, I should probably get myself some renters insurance now that you mention it...

    So sad to hear that your neighbors lost their kitty :-( So glad you and Jasper are ok!

    1. Hun it's like $25 a month. Trust me, if you had a flood of a fire or a break-in it would cost you a shit load more to replace everything you own.

      Yeah so sad about their kitty but apparently it was old and just couldn't handle all the smoke. But yeah, hit home the fact that it was a little too close for comfort.

    2. I have renters insurance that costs like $110 a year. Its cheap. Worth it for sure. This gives me chills to think about and I will never leave a candle unattended again. So sad a kitty was lost; thats one of the biggest losses of all.

    3. Very sad about their kitty. And that's something they will have to live with. I've always been very careful with candles because of Jasper but now that I've seen this level of destruction I think I'm going to be a lot more cautious.

  2. Renters insurance all the way! Took care of everything when my building caught fire including boarding my dog, paying for a hotel, cleaning everything in the smoke away chamber, and having everything delivered to the new place. Plus all utilities waived connection fees

    1. That's fantastic. I don't have to actually replace anything and the building's insurance is covering treating the floors, walls, windows and surfaces. I'm just doing a crap load of laundry and dusting....OMG the dusting. There's white dust everywhere from them sanding and repairing the plaster.

  3. That sucks!

    Brian's brother and his girlfriend had a fire in their condo in January...and they were at his mom's until September. Lots of problems with insurance and damage and other crazy things. All of their clothes had to be replaced because there was no getting the smoke out.

    Brian and I need to have renter's insurance for sure...and if there were a fire here--there are 2 sets of sprinklers in each room...Yikes.

    XOXOXO hope it gets better soon!

    1. Thanks hun. It's horrible to deal with and incredibly stressful.

      I was lucky in that a good washing is doing the trick for my clothes but it's an incredibly long process.

      You totally need renters insurance. It's just one of those things, you never expect to need it but if you do and don't have it? You're fucked.

      I live in an old building. No sprinklers but yeah, they can do a ton of damage to rooms that aren't actually on fire.

      xoxoxo Thanks hun. So sorry to hear about Brian's mom. Hugs to you both.

    2. Lucky for sure. Thanks for the condolences, dear. xoxox