Last weekend a bad thing happened. But it could have been so much worse.
Jacob and I had a fire at our house last Saturday evening. It all started when, after shutting off the power to the house earlier in the day and then turning everything back on, the heated floor thermostat turned on automatically (when the power was restored to that circuit). For hours the coiled up heated floor mat sat there getting hotter and hotter until it caught on fire. Jacob and I were downstairs watching a movie with the boys and couldn’t smell or see anything wrong. Until we heard the fire alarm go off. We immediately ran upstairs and saw the thick gray smoke. It was noxious. I ran back downstairs and got the fire extinguisher for Jacob and then got the boys out of the house. However, once out of the house they smelled the fumes and went running off to our neighbors. By this point, most of the neighbors had gathered in front of our house to see if we were okay and what was going on. Joe (our neighbor across the street) came up to help and lent us a fan to get the smoke out. We also had help from a neighbor down the street who we found out is a firefighter in San Francisco! So she was the one who cut the wire to the heated floor mat and brought it outside with a drop cloth. During this time, Jacob and I are running in and out of the master suite area trying to help but unable to withstand the fumes and smoke for long. I eventually went back outside to see where Boudreaux and Totoro had run off to, but the neighbors had found them and were watching them.
It was amazing how supportive, caring, and helpful our neighbors are! We owe a lot to them.
So why “Lucky”? Well, we could have been out walking the dogs. The fire could have started later in the night when Jacob and I were asleep. It could have been very bad. But really- all we need to do is buy a new heated floor mat (ouch) and repaint the newly painted walls (oh the irony). Either way, Jacob and I have learned a lot from this experience and will take that into our future dealings with electrical matters.