Aftermath of Losing our House

In my previous post, I mentioned that we lost our home on October 12, 2018. I remember it like it was yesterday.

I had taken up a side job, working at one of our local wineries for the harvest season. I was down in the vineyard, picking some grapes to pass the time until the harvester arrived. I had my phone on vibrate, and I could feel it vibrate, so I checked it. Now, I don’t know about y’all: if the ID says “No Caller ID”, I normally don’t answer it. For some reason, I did. When I answered the phone, I was greeted by someone from our county sheriff’s department, telling me my house was on fire. They asked if anyone was home, and I told them if there’s a brown car there, then my wife is home. Thank God, she was not there.

I told the man we had two dogs, and he said they got one out and she took off. I left the winery and got to my road, and could not get close enough to it, as there were so many fire trucks on our short road. We live about five minutes outside of Watkins Glen, NY, on a small road that cuts off the main highway. Not too many people live on our road.

I got to the house, found my wife and hugged her tight. We cried as we held each other, watching all of our memories go up in flames and smoke. We bought the house in the summer of 2008. Our three kids graduated high school while living there. When we moved in, we had five dogs, and, due to old age or illness, we were down to two. My dog, Lil Anne passed away in the house, due to smoke inhalation.

Aftermath of losing our house

There were a few things that happened, that, I feel were divine intervention. The first was Becky closed the window in the living room, as it had been unseasonably warm the previous two days, and a cold front had moved in the night before. Had she not closed that window, the whole house would have gone up in flames

The second instance was the time of the fire as it relates to when Becky left the house. She was picking up our grandson Zak from Headstart, and she normally left the house around 12:30. Our son had called her earlier to ask her to pick him up some medicine at the drug store, so she left earlier. Had she left at her usual time, she would have been in the house when it caught fire.

We appreciate the outpouring of love and support and gifts from family and friends. They have touched my heart. Something I’ll never forget.

Ever since our house burned down, I have struggled. Struggled to keep a smile on my face. Struggled to fight back the tears because of everything we had was lost. Struggling to be a good husband to my Becky, a good papa to my loving grandkids, and a loving father to my grown kids. I have struggled with being depressed. I have moments-hell, long periods-where I’m in a bad mood. I have moments where I want to cry. The bottom line: I want to go home. I realize these things take time. I am grateful to have a roof over our heads. Our oldest son did not hesitate to take us in. We get lots of moments and time with him and our grandkids, which I have to remind myself is a blessing.

Have you ever experienced losing your house to fire?

Do you know anyone, friend or family, that lost their home?


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  1. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to recover after losing your house in a fire. I am so sorry about your dog, poor thing. 🙁 Loosing all your life’s belonging and all the memories you have gathered over the years is horrible. 🙁

  2. oh this is awful! i had one of those phone calls at work many years ago. I got to my street and still couldnt believe it.

    It seems some kids on the park behind my house thought it was funny set light to my back fence, it worked with away around and through into my living room window (no one was in) Thankfully the fire brigade were swift and the only room badly damaged was my living room and not the whole house but the smoke is horrific and so much of my stuff had to be thrown out anyway.

    I am sending you healing thoughts and love as you rebuild. I am glad you are both safe

  3. This is such a horrible thing to experience, I haven’t experience it or my loved ones but this is definitely one of the saddest situation to be with.

  4. I am so sorry for you loss, both of your dog and of the house. I can’t imagine what it must be like – not just the physical things but the memories. I hope that you are having more good days than bad and that you are kind to yourself as, as you say – it’s takes time to recover from something like this.

  5. Writing this blog post and reliving those painful memories must have been so hard for you. So glad that your wife and one of your dogs survived the fire, that is the most important thing of all.

  6. Oh, I’m so sorry to have to read this. I can’t even begin to imagine how painful this was 🙁 This must have been a very painful thing to relive and share. ♥️

  7. I am sorry about this, it must have been devastating to lose the house and let alone one of the dogs, thankfully none of you were in the house.

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