Friday, August 20, 2010

The Almost Fire

I now know the top three things that I'd save in a fire - my cat. my dog.  my laptop.

Just a little while ago, my mom ran in to tell my sister and me (who were fast asleep) that the washing machine was making smoke and "practically on fire."  I hopped out of bed, leashed up Marge (who thought she was going for a walk and actually proved difficult to leash, so I used my agility martingale) and took my sister and her out to my car barefoot.

I went back inside since the imminent threat was removed (the washer was unplugged) to find my cat (located behind our seldom-used treadmill) and load her in the carrier.  Though she meowed as though someone was murdering her, she was cooperative.  I took her out to the car, too.

After the FDNY had arrived (really weird seeing 4 or 5 trucks in front of your house and even weirder hearing the sirens in the distance knowing they're coming TO YOU), I went back in again to get my laptop, just in case.

They tested the washing machine and found that it was, indeed, the problem, not the electric system or anything like that.  As soon as they plugged it back in, it started smoking again.  They assured my mom it was NOT going to go on fire, and went on their way.

Marge seemed intrigued by all of the commotion, not afraid of it.  For the most part, she either looked out of the window or curled up in the back of my car.  She watched interestedly as the last fireman talked to my mom and climbed in to his truck.

Marge is now in the backyard with me, and the cat is upstairs in my room with my sister.  The basement stinks of smoke, but otherwise, we're safe.

Crisis averted, but it does make me wonder about our readiness in the case of a real problem.  What do you do to ensure that the four footers in your house would get out safe?


Unknown August 20, 2010 at 10:52 AM  

Wow that had to be scary, glad yall are all safe!!

I know I would grab the dogs and then my laptop, I keep everything else in a fire proof safe.

I dont exactly have anything planned but it does make me think I should have something lined up. interesting.

SissySees August 20, 2010 at 10:54 AM  

Bravo! As a retired firefighter married to a fire chief, I can assure you this is ALWAYS on our minds. Leashes sit by every door, and spares live in our two personal vehicles.

Jules August 20, 2010 at 11:01 AM  

SCARY!! I don't think I would be prepared at all.

Sara August 20, 2010 at 11:14 AM  

I think about this a lot, but never actually come up with a plan.

I'm glad everyone is OK.

Kathy Mocharnuk August 20, 2010 at 11:37 AM  

I am really glad everyone is ok, but your little impromptu fire drill does give me cause to think about getting five or six dogs and a cat out, yikes, and secure them so that they would not take off in the confusion that would result.....and of course there would not be a lot of time, so it would be good to have a good plan.

Corbin August 20, 2010 at 1:24 PM  

Always a good thing to think of! Was my firt question when we bought our house, to make sure there were ways out of the windows in the bedrooms incase we were trapped from a fire. Daughter of a firefighter and now a saftey officer for the local fire department. Car key and leash at every door!
-Corbin's mom, Jenn

jen August 20, 2010 at 2:31 PM  

Glad everyone is ok. What a scare.
I have thought about this at times, and my mind goes in several different directions. All I know is my arms would be full of kids and dogs!

Amy / Layla the Malamute August 20, 2010 at 4:00 PM  

Wow, glad that it wasn't a huge fire. Also, that's so awesome that Marge took it all in stride.

I don't have an actual plan, even though I know I should. I have spare leashes in my car (plus copies of all their vaccination records), the cat carrier is accessible and Dusty's top part of her cage separates as a carrying case.

My biggest worry is something happening when we're not home. A few years ago I was watching some show on Animal Planet and a Labrador breeder's kennel caught fire. Some of the dogs were too scared to leave their run and they died in the fire. It kind of traumatized me, and I'm all freaked out about the possibility of them being trapped in their crates with nowhere to go.

The neighbor across the street is a fire chief, but that's not much help if they're at work too.

I'd like to try and come up with some plan for when we're NOT home, as well as one for when we are.

D.K. Wall August 20, 2010 at 4:48 PM  

Very scary and glad everything is ok. The Herd, for the record, would have sang with the sirens. I know because they always do, even if we are sitting in traffic and one passes - much to the amusement of everyone around me.

I have actually tried to get Rusty not to howl (he is the song leader), but when I say something, he looks at me with his lips all pursed and it cracks me up - then I lose control and he howls.

Gus, Louie and Callie August 20, 2010 at 5:19 PM  

Wow what excitement.. We are sure glad that everyone is ok. Mom probably would be just like you grab all the zoo animals, we have 3 heelers, 2 cats and 5 sugar gliders.. Not sure where the little bags are for the sugar gliders. Mom needs to locate those and put them close to their cages..

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ August 20, 2010 at 5:24 PM  

We have a set of leashes on the second floor if something happens at night and Mom always keeps the regular set where she could find them. If possible, she says she could let us out in the fenced yard until she could leash us properly. You are right to be concerned - a plan is a good thing to have.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Chris and Ricky August 20, 2010 at 6:33 PM  

Very scary! Glad to know that you are all ok. Mom is a big worrier and thinks about things like that but she never feels prepared enough. Sounds like you guys did a great job of getting out.

Cyndi and Stumpy August 20, 2010 at 7:12 PM  

Wow! Thank goodness it wasn't any worse. Stumpy's first out of the house. There is a leash by both doors and her important documents in the car at all times. The laptop is by the door, hopefully I could grab that on my way out.

houndstooth August 20, 2010 at 7:53 PM  

I know where the laptop is and we have leashes strategically placed, as long as we were going out the door. I'd probably end up carrying two of them out, anyway!

Lorenza August 20, 2010 at 9:14 PM  

Sure it was a scary episode!
Glad to know everything went well!
And that Marge was not afraid of it!
Take care
Kisses and hugs

Never Say Never Greyhounds August 20, 2010 at 9:15 PM  

I'm glad all is well!

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! August 20, 2010 at 9:21 PM  

I had a similar experience years ago when my Alfa khaught on fire -

I grabbed the handbag, the briefkhase, and the garage door opener as I watched it happen -

Of khourse, that was pre-cell phone so now the cell would be inkhluded!

Thank Dog you are all okay -

Deborah August 20, 2010 at 9:41 PM  

OMD, You went back in the house..isn't that a big NONO...I was always told NEVER go back into the house. You must have known you would be safe. I would leave the doors wide open and the animals would leave. I always tell my kids to get out and leave the doors open. Scary stuff and I am very glad your all OK.

Dexter August 21, 2010 at 5:49 AM  

Talk about having a fire drill...

The dogs, the dogs, the dogs, as far as I am concerned. My desktop is hardly portable, but I suppose my wallet and keys would come in handy.

If I take the dog's collars off at night I always put them in exactly the same spot by the door just in case and I know where all the leashes are even in the dark.

Hopefully won't need to worry, but it is good to be prepared. We also have stickers on the doors in case anything ever happened when we weren't home that specifically say save our black lab and mastiff with photos.

Mango Momma

tula monstah August 21, 2010 at 7:22 AM  

yikes! you're right- always have an emergency plan.. living on the second floor of an apartment complex, the fire alarm has gone off a few times. not fun trying to get tula in the mass exit w/other doggies down the stairs and outside.

glad woo's ok!!

dee * tula

Diana August 21, 2010 at 7:26 AM  

Im glad everything turned out ok. Well, except you mom now has to buy a new washer. Good thing your are a quick thinker and keep a clear head. That always helps. Diana

Sam August 21, 2010 at 10:50 AM  

@Deborah - because there were no flames, it was fine to go back inside. In the case of a real fire, not so much.

Bijou August 21, 2010 at 11:15 AM  

Oh that was scary! We are happy every buddy is okay and the washer didn't burn up.

We have our travel crate out all the time (Banjo likes to nap in it) and we know what "kennel up" means. So hopefully if we had a fire mom could get us out of the house quickly. She also has a couple of those stickers on the doors to let the firemen know that doggies live here so they know to look for us.

She worries most about her birds. They would be harder to rescue if there was a fire.


The Army of Four August 21, 2010 at 4:35 PM  

Whew! What a scare! We have an evacuation plan but haven't practiced in a while. What a great reminder that we need to do so!
We're so glad you're OK!
Tail wags,

RILEY AND STAR MY MALTESEKIDS August 22, 2010 at 12:41 AM  

Wow, that was scary! I am so glad it was serious! We're with you, grab your pets first!

Riley and Star.

LauraK August 22, 2010 at 9:56 AM  

Goodness, what a scary experience- I'm glad everyone is ok! Good for Miss Marge to be so brave and enjoy the commotion- she's come SO far, just in the short amount of time I've been reading your blog.

Having a plan for a fire is definitely a good thing to think about- thank you for bringing it up! We'd obviously get our 3 dogs out, but catching 4 panicked cats in our house might be a little difficult. Hopefully it never comes to that point! Good for you for being so prepared!

Kari in Alaska August 22, 2010 at 5:10 PM  

at least it was only a practice run!

Don't forget, we moved to

ForPetsSake August 23, 2010 at 1:07 AM  

I think about this too, but have really done nothing about it. Yet. Thanks for the reminder and the kick in the butt to get motivated. I think I'll make an emergency kit with leashes, bowls, meds. That'll be a start. And yes- my list would be: dogs, ferret, snakes and my phone.

Dawn August 23, 2010 at 5:23 PM  

I had a long vivid dream about a fire in my kitchen once that I still remember. I was trying to get the cat and the dog out through the kitchen to put them into the car so that I could back the car out of the garage. The objective was to have them in the car if the house burned down. It wasn't easy in the dream, I don't think it would be easy in real life either. I do know where my leashes are but I should keep one in the car too, along with paperwork. Good ideas! Thanks for making me think about this!

Laura August 23, 2010 at 9:04 PM  

Oh my goodness how scary! Glad everyone is OK.

We have an award for you over at our blog if you'd like it :o)

Cinnamon and Mint August 25, 2010 at 11:14 PM  

It must have been really scary! It is good that Marge didn't get stressed. If I had been there, I would have kept barking!!

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