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Guardian Angels

 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you,
That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father
which is in heaven.

Matthew 8:10

 

It is with humility and great thankfulness that I post a praise report this day.

God kept our family safe this weekend and for that I am truly thankful. I hesitated to post this as I don’t want to over dramatize, but I also want to give thanks to God for being present and sending angels to watch over our family.

On Saturday afternoon, as the cool chill of winter returned and the children played outside, I was icing a chocolate cake in the kitchen. The girls were playing in the fresh air, a tiny skiff of what is left of our snow covered the ground. The air was chilly so yes, the woodstove was going to keep us warm.  Suddenly, I heard the girls run, screaming – yes, all six of them – to the house. This makes my heart stop every time as I never know what they might be screaming about. They threw open the kitchen door and yelled “The chimney is on fire! There’s fire coming out! Get Lazarus and get outside!!!!”

In my haste, I dropped the icing knife and swiped Lazarus from the spot on the floor where he was playing – I threw him to his sisters – I’m not even sure which sister – and they ran to to our vehicle – which we had designated as our meeting spot, if ever we had a house fire. (We had figured the vehicle would be best as I could drive the children away if we needed to get further from the house. Also, I could keep them warm if it was in the winter and it would contain every one somewhat safely until the situation was under control.)

I ran outside the house through the dirty snow in slippers and no coat. Looking up to roofline, I saw the fire – yes, indeed, it was coming out of the top of the chimney in our school room! I ran back inside to call the fire department and to make sure the stove was shut down (as much as possible). All the vents were shut on the stove, but the temperature was dangerously high. I ran to the phone (thankfully, a  landline as I do not own a cell phone). Strangely enough, the landline was not working very well. There was much static and I could not hear anyone talking on the other end of the line. I tried calling 911 with shaky fingers but all I could hear was scratching and static … I tried again … but again, there was no proper reception and I could not hear anyone talking … I kept repeating, in a shaky voice, “Hello? I need the fire department!” and I would repeat our emergency address. I decided to unplug the phone and try another jack upstairs and so off, I ran, carrying the phone upstairs into our bedroom. But plugging it in, I discovered the same crackly reception – nothing with a solid phone line. I ran back downstairs, giving up on the phone, whispering frantic prayers to God to stop the fire and hurriedly typed a message to my mom  and my husband on my ipad (it seems silly but that was my only communication). My text was supposed to read: “Call 911 – chimney fire.”  But in my haste, there were many typing mistakes which came across as “chicken monkey fire”!  My mother was confused and thought one of my little children typed the message! (Hee hee!). She figured it out though and called my father in law, who lives nearby.

However, thankfully, because I called 911 on a landline, the emergency response units all responded – as they could track where the phone call was coming from, even if they could not hear anyone talking. {Land lines are the best thing to call for help on – cell phones do not allow the emergency teams to track where the call is located. Make sure you have a land line in your home!}
The fire continued to shoot out of the top of the chimney  … I ran back outside and told one of the older girls to run to the nearest neighbour and ask them to call 911 … off they went running while I stayed with the little ones near the truck … they were crying but I told them to just wait and pray and be calm. I went back in the house to see if the fire was coming out of the chimney inside the school room -but  I could see the orange glow coming from the cracks of the chimney. Although there was no actual fire was inside the house, the smell of hot chimney was strong.

 

I’m unsure how long it took the fire department to respond, but because we live in the country – and because the fire department is run by volunteers (although wonderful volunteers!) – it seemed like a long wait. During our wait, we continued to pray and watch the fire from ontop of the chimney. There was really nothing else I could do.
Soon, the fire department showed up, along with paramedics and the local police. Our yard and driveway became a buzz of quick activity. Because of my call with no one talking, every emergency service responded not knowing what type of emergency call was being made.

 

The fire fighters quickly climbed to the top of the house to put out the fire while others went into the house and put out the fire inside the stove. The chimney was taken apart – the smoldering ashes were brought down in buckets and poured on the driveway. The firefighters were excellent and wonderful and kept everything safe. They were kind to the girls, helpful and considerate.

My father in law showed up during this time to see if we needed help and offered to take the girls to his house for the afternoon as it was going to be long ordeal waiting for the house to entered again.
The fire was now out and there was no danger, but it was cold outside and the girls are all cheered at the thought of spending the afternoon at their grandparents’ house.  The girls excitedly packed up and headed off with grandpa while I stayed behind with Lazarus, who was so tired and desperately needing his nap. We were not allowed to go upstairs so I stayed in the living room and held him in the rocking chair while the fire fighters worked on the chimney and stove, dismantling the pipes. They also spent time adding more smoke detectors in every nook and cranny of this old home (being an older, cut up home) to ensure safety.

By this point, my husband had returned home after being at work over 1.5 hours away. Once the last fire fighter left, we worked together to clean up the mess left over while thanking God for His safety and protection! Collecting the icing knife dropped in haste on the kitchen floor, I thought of what could have happened and was so grateful for what actually did happen. We know that the children’s guardian angels were protecting them and myself and our home this Saturday afternoon. We know that God took care of us. And we are thankful, we are grateful and humbled.

“For he shall give his angels charge over thee,
to keep thee in all thy ways.”
Psalm 91:11

P.S. We received some beautiful blessings from all of this – one of the fire firefighters offered to come back and give the girls some fire safety lessons, as well as teach them and myself how to put out a fire if we are able. We will learn how to use a fire extinguisher in the likelihood that another fire poses danger to our home and family. The girls received free hot chocolate coupons from the police offers, who told the girls they did a great job reporting the fire and getting everyone out to safety. They thought that was just wonderful and received their hot chocolate treats on the way home from church the following day. We thanked the fire and police with some homemade cinnamon buns and have made some new friends in our local community.

Linked up with Strangers & Pilgrims

March 12, 2017 - 5:48 am

Gigi - Thanks, Rebecca. 🙂

March 12, 2017 - 5:48 am

Gigi - Thank you, Lindy. It was a great learning experience. 🙂 Good idea to get rid of the chemicals – I never thought of that! I do not have a diffuser yet. It is on my wish list.

March 11, 2017 - 12:08 pm

Lynda Lu Gibb - Praise the Lord! We have had 3 chimney fires in this house.. Indeed it is scary,noisy and smelly! Diffuse some Youngliving purification for a few days now.. any of the toxic particles,fumesans chemicals around from those high temperatures from the stove pipes will likely be wiped out. I Thank the Lord you are all safe..

March 11, 2017 - 3:36 am

Rebecca - Oh my goodness, praise God you all and your house are fine!

March 8, 2017 - 6:13 pm

Gigi - Oh my, I am so excited to hear you may have found a home! I do not know of someone, I’m sorry. 🙁 I hope you get to move soon! That is very exciting!

March 8, 2017 - 4:51 pm

Isela - Gigi, so happy to read everyone is safe and protected by our loving Father!! Praise His name!!
Gigi do you know a home inspector who specializes in century homes? We need a home inspector for a home we are planning to buy in Shelburne. If you know or can recommend someone we will greatly appreciate it having the info. Thank you so much.

March 8, 2017 - 4:42 pm

Chipmunk - I’m so thankful that the Lord kept you all safe and that it sounds like there was minimal damage to the house. God is so faithful!

March 8, 2017 - 12:30 pm

Gigi - Yes, the local emergency teams were fantastic. Last night, the fire fighters allowed the girls to tour the fire station and see the trucks and gave them all pencils with fire logos on them. They are kind hearted people. We are grateful. We look forward to our lessons on using the fire extinguishers and putting out a fire!

March 8, 2017 - 12:10 pm

Maike - The fire might not have been in the rooms but still a fire is truly scary no matter where it is. Thanks to the girls that they were so attentive and saw the fire, thought quick and let you know. And oh how glad I am that everyone is well and you had a lot of guardian angel watching over you. Your local fire fighter must be amazing giving your children the opportunity to learn and some hot chocolate!

March 7, 2017 - 7:42 pm

Gigi - Thanks, Auntie Kate! You are missed. xo

March 7, 2017 - 7:14 pm

Kate - What a scary experience! I’m so glad that you’re all ok and that God was watching over you – that it happened in the day time, that the girls were outside & saw it, that the emergency services responded so well….Sending extra hugs for all the Ls!