Mar 28, 2008

On Burning Homes and Broken Dreams

I drive past this fire-damaged house in Monroe County several times a week, and the charred timbers that poke out of what remains of the roof are a testament to the destructive power of fire. The scorched house digs at me every time I look at it, and I cannot imagine the effects that the loss of a home can have on a person.

I have witnessed a few insignificant fires in my life, ranging from a burning kitchen trash can when I was a small child to an unattended candle that burned a hole in the carpet of my current home. In both cases the fires were noticed before they could erupt into a deadly conflagration, and I consider myself fortunate that my homes have avoided the sort of blaze that destroyed the pictured house on Yargerville Road.

Richard Brown and his wife Elaine are the owners of the home, and the recently-retired couple watched their dream house erupt into flames from the embers of a wood-burning furnace. While it appears that the home can be salvaged, I suspect that the Browns' visions of a happy retirement were irreparably damaged on the night of February 11, 2008.

I look around my own home as I write this post, and I wonder what it must be like to lose impossible-to-replace items like baby pictures, children's art projects, and well-worn copies of favorite books. And what if my dogs were trapped inside when a fire broke out in my home?

I shuddered as I typed the last sentence, and I thank God that I have never suffered a fate like that of the burning of my home.


Anonymous said...

Our house burned down when I was 4, and we had to live in a motel for 2 months until it was fixed. My mom cried for a week! But you evetually get past it like any other kind of tragedy.

Mad Jack said...

When I bought my fireproof gun safe the vendor advised me to put everything in it I couldn't replace. He'd been through a house fire and lost everything. He told me, "You just start over."

Anonymous said...

I think I would just write it all off as just "stuff" and walk away.

Might be better off without all this junk anyway.

Must be liberating.

Anonymous said...

My friend's house burned down. What she misses the most are family pictures and momentos. You can never replace that stuff.

mud_rake said...

Compassionate post, Mike. I see that in you quite often here and it nudges me to do the same on my blog.