Following this paragraph is the story of what took place the night of the fire as well as where my family stands as of now. There are also some pictures of the house afterwards. Our intention is not to upset anyone as they are graphic and devastating; we just want everyone to thank God with us that everyone is safe and sound and this is a PART of our story but does not DECIDE our story!
Around 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 3rd , 2018 , my father began to smell smoke after he went outside to get luggage from my vehicle as my mother and I just returned to town from vacation. He walked around the inside of the house as he could continue to smell the smoke ; we pretty much figured one of the neighbors had started a fire in the fire pit or something like that . He checked outside the front door again to see if he saw anything then we both went to the back windows and the back porch to look outside to the neighbor's yard. As I opened the blinds and he pulled back the curtain at the door, my father and I both saw orange flames on our back porch near a deep freezer. We immediately went to get the fire extinguisher from the kitchen and my father attempted to aim towards the fire .
Pretty much the entire East Coast has been affected by nor'easter weather with extremely windy conditions . At the same time he opened the door to use the fire extinguisher, the wind picked up and fed the flames . He immediately closed the door , but the wind continued . In a matter of seconds , I watch the flames extend across the enclosed porch and sweep up towards the sky . My mother had just gotten out of the shower, so I yelled for her to get dressed and grab her things because we needed to get out of the house . I called 911 as my dad exited the house through the front door to get to the backyard and try again to extinguish the fire . We thought the fire department would come and contain the fire because it has started so small . Little did we realize that the wind was still blowing this entire time and by the time we got out of the house within that minute, we could now hear the fire and see the flames over the back part of the house . The fire department responded very quickly within a matter of minutes even though it seemed like a lifetime to us and our neighbors as the flames literally appeared out of nowhere consuming the house .
The fire department work tirelessly to control the fire, extinguish the flames, and put out any hot spots for almost a total of 3 hours , but the strength of the wind was uncontrollable. The fire did consume the entire house and it was deemed a total loss. My parents' neighbors as well as many of my father's coworkers immediately came to check on us as everyone was literally in shock as to what had just taken place . My brother arrived from work after working a 14-hour shift and my sister came immediately from her school when she found out as well . When we all got together we immediately began thanking the Lord that we were all safe , no one was hurt , and none of the neighbors' homes where damaged beyond repair .
Not many people know what I'm about to say other than our family and family friends but this is not the first fire my family has experienced where we have lost nearly everything . In June of 1994 , my family relocated from Maryland to Virginia due to military transfer . The tractor trailer company that was hired to transport our household goods was hit by a drunk driver on the interstate in the wee hours of the morning and everything was lost in a massive fire . That truck turned on the side as the rig where the driver sat ended up heading over into an embankment with a 12 foot drop . The movers were severely injured as they escaped from the burning truck to save their lives , but we thanked God that no one died that day . I remember being a young 8 year old little girl and hearing my parents' reaction to the phone call when they got the news of what had taken place and I remember them calling us into one of the rooms of this very house to tell us and assure us that everything was going to be okay because God will take care of us . This story is not something that I think about often because God's faithfulness to my family has been so abundant in all of our lives that this memory is something that He literally erased from our minds. It is devastating to be in the situation again and to see my parents go through this as I am now older and can truly understand the severity of what it means to start over in this way . There are many long days ahead , but I can sleep at night in total peace because I know that my God is faithful , He watches over my family , and He has made a way for my family to be a blessing to so many people in our lives and the surrounding community . We stand firmly on the fact that the Lord would not have us worried about anything but that He would give us wisdom and lend His favor to ensure that all immediate and long-term needs are met.
If you have read this story all the way through, please know and understand that we are trusting God and we encourage you to do the same in your life. He is a big God and can and will exceed any expectations we could have as long as we trust Him and follow his direction. Again, thank you for taking the time to pray for my family and be a blessing to them. May God's blessings and His best always be present in your life!
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