My Aquaria Saved My House. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-09-2006, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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My Aquaria Saved My House.

Yesterday, we were having a new shower installed in our bathroom. The plumber was soldering copper piping and unknowingly shot a few flames from his torch, through some wood paneling, and into my wifes closet. The flame grabbed a dress and immediately climbed it into the bulk of her clothing. The fire grew (without anyone knowing), and eventually grew large enough to send light back through the hole where the flame has originally snuck through.

The plumber looked at me at yelled "fire on the other side, fire on the other side". I ran into our bedroom to see a sight that will be burned into my brain for the rest of my life - a ball of fire in my bedroom closet with flames pouring out onto our ceiling.

I was torn between two mutually powerful thoughts - call 911, or go get water. I knew that EVERY second would count. I was not ready to give my home up; I had to fight for it. If I lost the whole thing because I didn't call the FD right away - so be it. I had to try to stop it. I made my decision and did not look back.

After that 1/2 second decision was over, my instincts kicked in - I needed to go get water - But, since we were doing plumbing work the water was turned OFF, and there was NOT time to turn it back on and fill up buckets of water. The bedroom would be entirely in flames within minutes.

It was my RO system, in the basement, that was my guardian angel. Luckily I had the entire 40g trashcan resevoir full at the time. I grabbed a near by 5g pale and plunged it into the garbage can of water, grabbed a water pitcher for baling, and flew up the stairs back to the room. When I got there it was even worse. The room had filled with smoke and I could barely tell where to throw the water. I started throwing pitcher of it as fast as I could. It took 5-6 1/2g pitchers of water to deliver the fire a solid hit. When I saw that I might actually have a chance to save my house, it was the greatest feeling in the world.

When the first 5g pale was empty, there were still flames, but I could see that if I hurried, I would be able to win. On my 2nd and 3rd trip to retrieve more water, I got the true feeling of what it feels to have your body give you the power you need to get through these kinds of times. My breathing was extrodinarily heavy, but I was not tired in the least. It was as if my muscles had no idea that they should be tired.

When the smoke cleared, we got a good look at the damage and how close I came to losing my house.

I still have trouble talking about this because I feel so foolish. Foolish that I did not pay closer attention. Foolish the I did NOT have a fire extinguisher in my house.

This exact lesson may not apply to your living situation, or your life. But, there is one thing you can take from this - it only takes a second for a fire to tear though your house if the circumstances are right. Know you plan. Know what you need to do. Run it through your head.

I feel fortunate that my instincts won this round. But, they just as easily could have lost. Next time something like this happens, I would prefer to have a plan in the back of my mind (and CERTAINLY have a fire extinguisher, for pete's sake).

Thanks for listening.




Ted


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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-09-2006, 09:18 PM
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whoa, you da man! the first thing that came to mind after reading the story is ... now your wife has an incredible excuse to go on a shopping spree at nordstroms.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-09-2006, 09:20 PM
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Wow... Sorry to hear about this tramatic event. This just helps my thinking that every house should have an aquarium. More importantly everyone should have an all purpose fire extinguisher (A & B) even two or three in different places around the house.

Glad to see that everything will be okay.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-09-2006, 09:24 PM
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Im glad to here that so little was damaged, cloths meen nothing compared to a life. On another note I hope your plumber plans on giving plenty of free time and money to fix what he/she destroyed. MAN I WOULD BE PISSED!!!

Im glad to here that this horrifying tale has a wonderful lesson. Best lessons are learned at the hardest times.

Best regards to your cloths, And thank G-d for the R/O unit

Peace,
Ry

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-09-2006, 09:45 PM
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Oh sheesh, what a mess! I'm glad that the damage wasn't worse, though. You certainly had luck with you, and thank goodness for that. I just hope that the plumber will be more careful next time.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-09-2006, 09:47 PM
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Whew. Glad it worked out as well as did. I think you should buy a couple fire extinquishers now. They are cheap haha.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-09-2006, 10:04 PM
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Oh, my . It could have been so much worse. I know you went RIGHT OUT and bought fire extinguishers, yes ?

I know the adrenalin thing. When I was in my 20s still living at home I'd had a hard day working out in the yard all day (that was how I earned my keep, the "yard" was 30 acres) and thought I was tired. I was relaxing in the living room with my mum and dad, and suddenly looked up to see a pall of black smoke rolling across the ceiling. Ran into the kitchen, mum and dad right behind to discover that mum had apparently left a pan of grease on the stove which was on fire and it had flared up and caught the cabinets above it on fire as well. I TORE out of the back door and flew up to the shop about 300' away to get the only fire extinguisher I knew we had and flew back. Mum had meanwhile grabbed the flaming pan and thrown it out the back door. Dad grabbed the extinguisher from me and put out the blaze just as it was thinking of going through the ceiling. Mum told me later that she thought I'd panicked, LOL, they didn't realize I'd gone for the extinguisher.

We also went out immediately and bought fire extinguishers to keep in the kitchen . Fire extinguishers (and smoke detectors!) are cheap insurance for life and property.

By the way. . . why the heck didn't that plumber have a sheetmetal guard behind where he was soldering??? I always make sure DH uses one when he's soldering plumbing, and if IMHO it's still too close to the housing structure, will make him spray down the wall with a spray bottle as well!

SlŠinte!
Cindy



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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-09-2006, 10:05 PM
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And get a NEW plumber!!!!!

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-09-2006, 10:05 PM
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Glad everything came out OK. Make sure that plumber gets your wife a shopping spree.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 01:32 AM
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Wow. What an incredible story. That'll be one you'll be telling your grandkids. Way to come through in the clutch .
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 01:37 AM
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I am just glad no one was hurt! *phew*
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 01:51 AM
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This is *one* *great* *story*.

I actually leaned closer to the screen to read what happened next!

I'm glad everyone is ok and that you only lost a few clothes.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 02:57 AM
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Wow Ted. Congratulations on making the right call! Must have been a hell of a day. Thank god you didn't loose the fight! Everybody, check your fire extinguishers. We've used ours twice to put out a grass fire in an adjacent lot and also a fire started by a couple of young kids playing with gas and matches. You just never know when you will need one. Glad it worked out OK.





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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 04:02 AM
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Scary stuff...so glad all is well. That reservoir was a Godsend!
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 12:17 PM
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I actually leaned closer to the screen to read what happened next!
lol, me too. My neck hurts.

Ted, that is a chilling event! Not to mention a chilling story, you've definitely got a way with words. Not to mention the ability to think and act quickly! K U D O S to you
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