We had a chimney fire last night. Himself has been sleeping extra light lately because of the puppy, and noticed a strong smell of smoke and some light coming from our living room that should not have been there at 4:30 am. He got me up and I woke my dad and stepmother, who were visiting us that night. Himself ran outside, barefoot and shirtless, to get the hose on the chimney immediately. The temperature was right around freezing.

I got Margot and everyone else out. My stepmother was great about sitting in the car with the puppy in her lap under a blanket. They stayed put for a couple of hours, which was a huge help while we were running around with the firefighters. My dad jumped in to help Himself with the hose, while I called 911.*

The firefighters arrived and got to work. I want to thank the responding units from Loudoun and Frederick counties. They were professional and courteous, checking in with us many times to ensure our safety and to explain their actions. You will all be receiving baked goods once I can use our kitchen again.

The damage was limited to the living room. The firefighters credit Himself with this; had he not detected the fire sooner and gone out with the hose, our entire roof probably would have burned. As it is, given the nature of the damage, we will probably have to replace our entire roof and the flooring in the living room. Property damage seems to include only the furniture and electronics that were in the living room (our 1-month old couch is done). For this, we are very thankful. We are all safe and the vast majority of our possessions are safe. We feel kinda bad for Margot because this puppy has had a dramatic week! But we’re all together and staying with good friends, so life could be a lot worse right now.

*In calling 911, I was not quite as prompt as I could have been. I made sure humans and puppy were safe, then watched Himself with the hose thinking, “Does he mean to put that out all alone?” before asking him if he had called 911. “NO! CALL THEM NOW!” was the appropriately incredulous response I got. Apparently he had told me to call it in as soon as we got up, but in my addled state, I in no way heard this. In addition, when I went in to wake my dad and stepmother, I was also very polite: “I’m sorry to bother you, but we have a chimney fire…” I guess my manners take over in a crisis.


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