Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Safe From the Fires






We are hoping the worst is over!! The fires were about 7 miles from our house but the winds were gusting up to 45 miles an hour so the entire city was in danger. The fires were out of control! Brave firefighters from all over the United States have been fighting around the clock to save this area of my town. So far there have been more than 6500 acres burned. The first damages are starting to roll in. Eight houses were completely burned. One of the homes is the principal of Harley's high school! The next to the last picture is what we could see of the bright glow in the night sky from our front yard. And we had the Black Hawk helicopter with their huge water baskets flying over our roof all day the past two days!

Our neighborhood was 1 block south of the evacuation area. We had a family of six (and their two dogs, one the size of a small Shetland pony) stay with us for over 24 hours as their house was about 4 blocks into the evacuation zone. They have returned to their home now. The evacuation zone has now moved a bit further away from both our homes. Thank you Lord!

Laundry basket
As well as several other states and more counties in Kansas these fires have been the story of our lives for several days. I don't think I have ever had to imagine what it would be like to lose everything I have in this manner. This has certainly brought it closer to home. The inside window sills of my home were covered in a fine black soot! And this is what I found yesterday in a laundry basket sitting in the dining room.

At one time on our phones (there were 5 smart phones in the house) an emergency alert sounded with the following message:


It was immediately determined to be accidentally sent to all of Hutchinson and was not meant for the entire city to evacuate. But, let me tell you, this will send your heart into panic mode thinking, "oh dear Lord, help us now!!" 

For now, we are safe and recovering. I am going to revel in the quiet house! Harley and I might take in a little shopping this afternoon. 







34 comments:

  1. Glad to hear you are safe. This is the first I've heard of fires in your area. It's a scary thought. Years ago someone torched the speedboat that was stored at our home. No damage to our home thanks to our local firefighters.

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    1. We are safe! And today (after over 5 days) the fires are 85% contained!

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  2. I am so glad you are safe! Hope the fire is under control and maybe completely out by now. It is hard to imagine losing everything. We had a fire in our house when the kids were young. It was a faulty fireplace that was not to code. I woke up and smelled smoke. I went to check on the children and the power went out. I scooped up my youngest daughter and told my oldest daughter to go get in our car. My husband picked up our middle daughter and my oldest son grabbed his brother. We all sat in our car and watched the fire department put the fire out. All this to say that I did not grab any belongings, just my kids and our pets. The fire department was great. They moved our Christmas tree and all of the presents to a safe place before they doused half of our house. We were so lucky. WE only lost our bedroom and bathroom and family room. They closed off the kitchen, living room and the other three bedrooms and we were able to live there while they reconstructed the damaged part.

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    1. It is not yet completely out! But it is now contained. And the winds have died down. That was a really scary time for you Kathy! I'm glad the firemen were so good!

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  3. Oh Paula! Nomwonder you wrote about having minutesto leave and what would you take. I'm glad you are safe. And thank you for being the safe haven for another family...and dogs. It must have been frightening for all. My condolences to those who lost their homes. That false alert would have sent me packing, I think. Not every day you get to see a Back Hawk, though!

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    1. It is now up to a total of 10 homes lost. I jumped up and started to run when we got the alert but it was corrected within moments!! Seeing the Black Hawks was the only good thing about all of this!

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  4. Paula, I have been thinking of you. We get fires where I live every summer. Iam surrounded on 3 sides, National forests. I understand about the smoke, and evacuations. We keep important documents, readily available come summer. All we have to do, is pick up and go. STAY SAFE, my friend.

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    1. We are safe. We are just NOT prepared for anything like this here. I am sure there will be a lot of people making changes for the future!

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  5. Oh my gosh, how scary! Did you know the family that stayed with you during the evacuation? Sad about the houses lost, can rebuild but never the same I think. Southern California can have lots of fires and I've been close to them, but never had to evacuate. I do remember the ash that would fall from the sky though over people's cars, etc. Glad you guys are safe and hopefully will stay that way!

    betty

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    1. Yes, Betty, we knew the family. It is a woman that Justin used to date. Her kids call me grandma. The adults don't get along very well (the husband and wife) so that made it all a bit more stressful. But I was glad to be a safe haven for those beautiful kids! The ash is EVERYWHERE.

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  6. Glad to hear your home and family were untouched apart from a little soot. I'm sure your safe haven was a blessing to the family who needed it. Fire is very scary when it's uncontrolled!

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    1. Yes fire is scary!! It is 85% contained today!

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  7. Oh wow!! So glad you are safe and didn't lose your home!!! prayers to all those who have lost so much!

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    1. Thank you Jodi! There are many who lost so much!

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  8. Holy moly! I do hope you remain safe.

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  9. Glad you came through with just soot. Hope it's over forever.

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  10. How frightening! One always thinks it will never happen to them; and I realize we're woefully Unprepared.
    I'm so touched that you opened your home to that family AND their furry children.

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    1. I did what I needed to do! I think we all would!

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  11. I'm glad you are all safe. How sad for the people who lost their houses.

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  12. I love living right in the woods, but when we have an exceedingly dry season it is in the back of my mind. I am thankful you came through safely. I hope those who didn't get plenty of support from the community.
    Barbara from Life & Faith in Caneyhead

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    1. Yep, after this I don't think I could ever live in a place like that! Too scary! And it happened so fast that people just had to run for their lives!

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  13. I know how scary a fire coming toward your home is. We live at the edge of the Withlacoochee State Forest and a few years ago there was a fire that come almost to our back yard. We were really scared that we were going to loose our house. Thank God the fire was contained just before reaching us.

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    1. We were lucky to not be that close! I am glad you were okay!

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  14. I am glad you are okay. The winds were horrible up here, luckily we still have snow and ice so fires could not be started, but soon it will be fire season up here. I had to leave once, I took my camera and the three wheeler and a jacket. No money...how silly was that? :(

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    1. I had my checkbook and debit card next to my keys. So at least we would have money!

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  15. Very scary! Also your air filters for your cars will get all clogged up by the ashes. We had a few of these fires fueled by sustained 60 mph winds last week. Still many homes have no power.

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    1. I didn't have my car out much during all of this. So hopefully my filters are okay! I have been hearing about high winds and no power around the States!

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  16. Glad you are okay. I've found when I hear of a disaster I just start praying. Invariably, even the most obscure and remote event touches the life of someone I know. I'll keep praying for your area.

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    1. I think we are now in the clear. But thanks for the prayers, Carol!

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  17. I am so glad that you are okay! You, your family, and area are in my prayers. (((Hugs)))

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