A guest post from my sweet Dan…
Friends and Family
Facing a rainy Memorial Day, Denise and I cancelled our plans for grilling out and opted for a matinee at the movies. About half way into “Tomorrowland”, I began to feel my phone (in stealth mode) vibrate incessantly. After the fourth call in 15 mins, I excused myself to the lobby to see what the buzz was. OMG, my neighbors down the street were texting and calling me to let me know the apartment complex, immediately next door to Chez Gainey, was completely engulfed in flames! I ran back into the theater, grabbed Denise, and we bolted home with our phone on Bluetooth speaker in conversation with Jesse M (the neighbor) the whole way. Of course we were concerned about our 100 year old home, but at issue were our four-legged children, Cooper, Sophie, and Kasey. The news was encouraging; the apts were still burning, but our home miraculously seemed to not be experiencing any of the flames.
As we hit the outskirts of the neighborhood, we could see a huge plume of dark black smoke bellowing into the sky. Many of the streets leading to our house had been blocked off by the police, so I had to navigate our way thru a series of back alleys and park at the end of the block. Hearts pounding, we ran down the alley and until we approached the back of our property, where we were promptly stopped by a policeman. After explaining that this was our house and we had three pets inside, they let us enter thru the back garage cautioning us not to go into the lower part of our home, in case the fire-riddled wall of the apts merely 20 feet away were to fall onto our house. We brought two highly frenetic dogs out of the main house and up to the guest house and out of harm’s way. Not long after, our cat sheepishly crawled out from under the deck. Denise took a huge sigh of relief and said, “Kasey, whatever hits us, you may well be the sole survivor.” The rest of the afternoon was spent passing out cokes and water I had iced down out of our lower garage that faced the burning apt complex. These poor guys (four-alarm) were exhausted not only from fighting the fire, but carrying heavy equipment up and down the steep hillside we love and appreciate for the views.
Waiting out the excitement in the guest house.
Well, the fire is now contained and Thank God no one was hurt. But watching the news just now, we saw a guy tossing his dog to safety before he climbed out his second story window billowing with smoke, definitely a close call for him and the pooch! The Fire Chief and police thanked us for passing out drinks to these brave, first responders, but I told them “it was a small token compared to their saving our home!”
Of course, we feel so very blessed. If any of the conditions had been different; if it had not been a rainy day, if the firemen hadn’t gotten there as quickly as they did? If it had been windy, etc., etc., we would be looking at an entirely different picture right now.
We are extraordinarily thankful this Memorial Day, one that we will never forget.
Dan, Denise, Cooper, Sophie, and Kasey Gainey