Monday, March 21, 2011

WE MADE IT A YEAR {since we lost First Avenue}

Yesterday was the gloomiest day by far, inside & out. The rain poured against the skylight - Tap. Tap. Tap. A grey hue floated through our front window & circled the entire house. We sat huddled together on the nearest couch, our arms wrapped tightly around each other. Yogi bear flashed before us on the television, but my mind was elsewhere. We had survived an entire year without our glue, without First Avenue. It still doesn't seem like it has been that long - the memories are so vivid it still feels like it happened yesterday...

On March 20th, 2010 - only two and a half hours after I arrived at work, I recieved a phone call. It was a call I never imagined could happen to me. My house was on fire. Not only was this my current residence, it was the house I grew up in. I had hopes & dreams of raising my own children in the same house - giving them the exact same, amazing home that I had. I remember growing up as a child & feeling completely content in this house, this town. I always remember coming home from week long vacations or camping trips, the second I saw the skyline of Wausau as we came in on highway 51 I got a sudden rush of excitement. I was home. It felt right. It was the most familiar thing I knew. And on that day, I felt that I was losing everything I knew - everything that I had worked so hard for.

The roads were closed off for blocks. We had to park quite aways down the street & as we ran up to the house I could see what I thought was a large cloud of smoke - however, I'm told it was nothing compared to what it was before. The flames were pretty much out, & the entire front was pitch black. My heart sunk - I knew from the phone call that my family was out of there, but I was almost 100% sure my four year old Chihuhua, Beaker, was still in there. I closed my eyes for a moment - it was what seemed like an eternity, and when I opened them I saw a lady carrying my puppy towards me. He was excited, almost jumping from this complete stranger's arms. She was a local pet groomer that worked down the road from my house & when she was passing by she saw the flames. She was the first on the scene, broke down our back door, & saw our small Chihuhua huddled in the corner of his cage. This lady risked her own life, to save our Beaker. I can't even begin to express how thankful I am. He would have died if it wasn't for her & a big part of my heart would have died with him

Neighbors described it as "the house just went poof!" even the fire cheif stated he had driven past no less than a half hour before they recieved the call & there was nothing going on. The windows were so air tight sealed that the fire build itself up so much that as soon as the pressure was too much it blew all the front windows right out. By the time the fire department was called, it was already too late, the house was already devoured.

The cause, currently unknown. As we speak there is inspectors scrapping away at the rubbish. We are not allowed within the house to collect items that may be saved. However, I was allowed in for a second, with fireman escort, to grab my son's favorite stuffed animal. (perhabs it was the tears that let this happen, or perhabs it was the fact the firefighter had children of his own, & knows how important a lovey is.) What I saw was breathtaking. Parts of my house were black & things were thrown all over the place almost like a tornado hit it. It was soaking wet, and the stench stung my nose. Daycen's room was well in tact, despite the fact the fire roared outside his window. A tarp lay over his crib, & once pulled back looked normal. In the corner sat his lovey - slightly wet, smelling odd, but pretty much damageless. (I think a few runs through a washing machine, & he'll be able to reunite with Daycen.) I know I was to just grab this animal, but I filled my arms with as much things as I could - and trudged from my home. Forced out of the one place I felt was mine.

I just want to go back. I just want to be able to collect my things. I just want to try and clean everything that wasn't burned to pieces. I just want my home back.

We later found out that the cause of the fire was electrical, & there was no way to predict that it was going to happen. We were just lucky timing was on our side & that nobody was home. It was so bad, so fast, that I can't imagine trying to get through the flames.

It's been a year. WE MADE IT. I can't believe how lucky we are.


Tooter said...

oh Brooke....this is the one day ill never forget!! I was thinking of everyone all day yesterday. Love you!

kim rakes said...

oh, my heart breaks for you looking at this photo. but i am so glad that a year later, you are still a strong lady and still finding joy in your life despite such a loss. i've read two particular blog entries lately, and maybe you have read them too... but i just thought i'd share them with you because when i read them, i thought about you.

sending love,
kimma <3