Smoke Saga - Part 1, The Discovery

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Smoke Saga - Part 1, The Discovery

The first two weeks of March have been like nothing I've ever experienced before. As a result of chicken left simmering unattended, we came home one evening to fire alarms blaring and a house full of smoke. That evening I held my breath as I hurried through the house gathering pajamas and a change of clothes for each of us so we could spend the night at Ken's parents' house. It hadn't occurred to us that we might be moving out of our home for weeks or that we would soon lose many of our belongings to the smoke and soot from this protein fire (without flames).

Our experience with Burnt Chicken and a house full of smoke

It's been a full month since I've posted here (if you don't count the link party). The last 2 weeks of February we were in Florida for the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. I have plenty to share with you from that experience, but haven't had any time to write about it yet. Today I have another story to tell you.

Setting the Scene

We drove home from Florida and arrived back in Canada Thursday evening. While the girls were at school that Friday, Ken and I started to unpack and try to get things in order and back to normal at home. We got about half-way unpacked by the time the girls got home and then we had to put that on pause because it was time for Talia's first performance in the Beauty & the Beast musical! She had a performance Friday evening, Saturday afternoon, and Saturday evening. This meant she needed to be there for a lot of hours and the rest of us had volunteered to help out, so we had very few free hours on Saturday. Ken managed to get out that morning to buy some groceries, put away the perishable items, and hurry back to the church where the play was taking place. Between the two Saturday performances Ken, Katrina, & I rushed home to grab something to eat before hurrying back for the next performance.

After the performance, Katrina was quite tired and asked us if we could go home. We visited quickly with friends and family who had attended the play and made arrangements for Ken to drive Katrina & I home so that I could get her to bed. Ken would return to get Talia after their cast party to celebrate their last performance.

The Discovery

On the way home, we discussed our plans for the next day, talked about how much we had to do to catch up after our trip, and the developments in Ken's search for post-PhD employment. Life felt so busy and the to-do list so long.  During this conversation Ken mentioned that he was planning to make enchiladas for dinner the next day, and I was looking forward to those enchiladas.

When I got out of the car, my first comment was, "It smells bad out here." Then I heard a fire alarm somewhere nearby and before I could have another thought, I heard Ken say, "Oh no. It's the chicken!"

The next thing I knew, Ken was in the house and thick white smoke was pouring out of the doorway. Katrina was worried and I told her to just stay by the car because of the smoke. The thought crossed my mind that there could be a fire and I worried about Ken just running into it like that. I had to hold my breath to go through the smoke and around the corner to ask Ken if it was okay. He told me there was no actual fire but that the chicken was very burnt. I went back outside and stayed with Katrina.

Ken took care of the pot, opened windows and doors to let smoke out and get the alarm to stop. We quickly concluded that we couldn't stay the night at our house so I held my breath as I ran around the house gathering pajamas and a change of clothes for the next day. We would stay the night at Ken's parents' house with the intention of getting ready for church there, going to church, and then figuring out next steps.

It really hadn't occurred to me that evening that we would still be living with Ken's parents 2 weeks later or that our belongings would be as affected as they were.

To Be Continued & Updates

Well that's how it all began and there's a lot more to share, but we're not finished dealing with our house as I type this, and it's time to head back over there to get more work done. I'll share more later but I wanted to get a post published to explain where I've been.

I've also been "micro-blogging" about this experience in real time over on Instagram @raisingmemories. If you'd like to watch those Instagram stories, you can find them in my featured stories (the circles in the profile of my Instagram). Just look for the burnt pot and the title "Smoke Saga".

I'll update my stories there as we continue to move through this process. When I find some more time to sit down with a laptop, I'll write more here on the blog as well (my regular computer and monitor are being cleaned). I have really appreciated the messages of support and love that have come to me on Instagram from those of you who have been following along there. Some of you have been through similar experiences and have shared your wisdom and others have just mourned with me over some of the sad moments. I'm grateful for the community that exists here and on Instagram, and for the way it allows us to reach out to each other and connect over everything from the simplest everyday moments to the big events and difficult experiences we each walk through in our lives.

Smoke Saga ~ Part 2
Smoke Saga ~ Part 3
Smoke Saga ~ Part 4
Smoke Saga ~ Part 5
Smoke Saga ~ Part 6

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  1. So glad to read you guys are okay but...what a nightmare to have to live through. I wondered what happened when I saw one of your pics on Instagram. Thanks for the update...and good luck with everything you have to still deal with!

    1. Thank you Sandy! It has been quite crazy- and such a whirlwind couple of weeks! This is the first time we've slowed down a little and it was just out of necessity because we couldn't keep going! It's a long road but as you say, we are all okay and that's the most important thing!

  2. Oh Heather, I am so sorry to read this - but glad there were no injuries

  3. Good gracious, I am so happy you are all OK. stuff is just stuff in the overall scheme of things. Sending positive thoughts and prayers our way

    1. Thank you! You're right- the stuff is not that important in the grand scheme of things. Someday we'll be through all of this!

  4. Oh my! Who would even think that one pot could do that much damage. So sorry you are having to go through all this.

    1. I know!! We never imagined it would be this big of a deal!! Thanks Merry

  5. Oh geez! So glad that you're all okay! It's undoubtedly a strain to have to go through this ordeal. Sending all the good vibes your way hun. <3

    1. Thank you Aeryn! It has been quite a strain but we're getting through it. Thanks for the vibes! ;)

  6. Firstly, I am glad there at least was no fire! But it’s incredible how much damage has been done without actual flames.

    1. I know! I'm amazed too. We had no idea it was going to be this big of an issue!


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~Heather Lynne

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