I had activity days that night, so I left the kids and Irish with supper and was on my way.
We were making P.J. pants that night and so we went a little over time. I was trying to make it home in time to say goodnight to the kids before they were in bed. I made it home just in time (7:30pm).
I rushed in and went straight to their rooms to give my little munchkins hugs and kisses goodnight.
I returned down stairs to get a drink, check my Facebook & email for a little breather before I unloaded the van with all my P.J. making supplies.
I then ventured out to unload the van. As I'm coming back to the house with the first load I notice a "light show" coming from our neighbors window (and by neighbor, I mean immediate neighbor...as in the other side of our duplex). As I'm walking closer to our door I am trying to determine the source of the light. It's far to bright for a candle, and too "dancy" for just the bedroom light...then it hits me, that the light I am seeing are flames from a fire!!
I "throw" my sewing stuff into our living room while yelling "Irish, I think we might have to call 911" that statement alarms him, so he comes running to the front door and we peak outside again, only this time the flames look larger and there is smoke everywhere. We then see the lady who lives in the other side of the duplex running to our side of the duplex! As soon as I see her I knew we had to call 911.
Irish then calls 911, and I go after the lady, as she had ran back to her house...and re-entered!! I'm standing outside the door (and not entering because I am 5 months pregnant, not sure where/how big the fire is...if it's contained only to the one room or spreading etc) and yelling for her to come back out, that it's not safe to be in there. She finally comes out saying that she couldn't find her teeth (of course, that's what I would go back in to grab if my house was on fire!)
It seems as though she only took a "breather" and went back in...BAAHHHH! COME BACK OUT!!! Irish comes down the sidewalk and around the corner, on the phone with 911 dispatch. I tell him that she's gone back in and won't come out. Without thinking he hands the phone to me, and runs in after her (My Hero husband!)
Meanwhile this whole time our very own children are still in their beds on our side of the duplex. I didn't think they were in any immediate danger as the fire was in the far SW corner of the house, and they were "sleeping" in the very far NW corner (basically the direct opposite corner) of the house and one floor up (our side has 3 levels, and hers only has 2).
After Irish "drags" the lady out (...she really wants her teeth) he "gives" her to me to hang onto and I hand him the phone. I try to take her away from the house, but she insists on getting her coat and boots, which are just inside the front door. How could I not let her, it's 'freezing' cold outside and all she had on where her P.J's and bare feet. I tell her to quickly grab them and we would put them on further away from the house.
It seems like we've been hearing the sirens for a while now, but no firetrucks in sight. While the lady is "taking her time" putting her coat and boots on (while sitting on the front steps) I hear glass cracking. I run over to the corner to see what is going on. The fire is now outside the window and climbing onto the roof! My heart drops down into my stomach and I almost burst into tears as I realize my two precious children are still inside. Almost immediately after that thought I see Irish come out of our house, carrying both of our children, one in each arm...I can now somewhat remain calm.
It was a good thing that he went and grabbed them, because I probably would have been a little hysterical if it had been me! I guess he calmly went up to their room, turned on the light and said in a happy voice "Hey, do you guys want to go and play at a friends house?" to which they were super excited about...and most likely a little confused!
So Irish has the kids, and I am trying to do everything I can to 'be there' for the lady, comfort her, continue to re-assure her that yes, her house is on fire, but she is alive and that is the most important thing!...OH and NOT let her go back in the house.
After what seems like forever, the firetrucks finally arrive. Now I don't who else has experience with a fire, but it is so not like the movies. The firemen get out of the trucks, gather, walk here, walk over there, slowly unload the pipes....there wasn't anything rushed about it. Of course the whole time I'm thinking hurry up!!! Put that fire out before it gets any worse!! while at the same time well, they are the fire experts, they should know what they are doing.
Even after the firemen arrived to the house, the lady (who I will refer to as 'B' from now on) was still trying to go back in. One of the firemen asked me if I could "get her across the street and keep her there"...it was now officially my job to keep B away from the house. Meanwhile I know that Irish and the kids are safe, but I have no idea where they are.
As we watch the Firemen put the fire out, I see them go in and out of our side frequently. I just keep praying that the fire did not spread that far.
We are blessed to have a neighborhood full of wonderful people. We had numerous offers of places to sleep that night! Irish told me this later on that night, but I guess as soon as he backed our van out of the driveway, and got out, our neighbor directly across the street from us comes running towards Irish yelling "Irish, where are the Children???" She demanded that he take them over to her house right away! Irish took the kids to their house where they played, had some snacks and eventually, later, went to bed.
I stayed outside just to keep tabs on what was going on, and get any instructions/final words from the firefighters. Luckily I got to keep warm inside a firetruck. Every so often the Fire Chief would come in and update me as to what they were doing. When he found out I was pregnant he told me in a very serious tone that I was not to go back into the house, and that if I needed anything for that night to get my husband to do it, as it was better to "sacrifice" him, than me.
When I finally went to our neighbors house (where we spent the night), I went up to say goodnight to the kids. As soon as I walked into the room both kids popped their heads off the pillows and in synchronization cheered "Mommy!!" and then Marshall, in the most mature voice for a four year old tells me "Mom, that was so nice of the firemans to put the fire out! Daddy just called them...and they came!"
That night was so hard for Paisley. I think the only one that slept like a rock was Marshall! That boy could sleep through a tornado! When Irish left our house with the kids he didn't think to grab her blanket (which is seriously a must have...it's her life line) or her baby. Normally Paisley goes to sleep without a fuss, but that night I had to lay with her until she fell asleep. Every two minutes she would ask in the saddest voice you have ever heard "Mommy.....blanket?......baby?" to which I would reply "I'm sorry hunny, we don't have them. The fire made them stinky" she would cry a little, and somewhat fall asleep, only to "wake up" again and ask the same questions. This continued all night. With Paisley waking and moving, the firetrucks coming back every two hours to monitor things, and being in a strange place neither Irish or I slept very well...or at all for that matter.
SO long story short, there was no fire damage to our side of the duplex! Every thing in our entire house just smells like smoke and there are ashes in our front entry and living room!