Well It's been a year since something I never could happen to me actually happened..
Although the details and memory are quite blurred due to the shock at the time, I remember being unable to sleep and just lounging on my computer when at around 1130pm all I could hear was the crackling of fire outside my window with a bright orange light filtering through my curtains, immediately I just shrugged it off not expecting anything bad.
I stood up and looked out the window and noticed the garbage bin was fully in flames, I was immediately alarmed considering the bin is only 10 feet from the building and ran to the kitchen window which faced the garbage bin and upon opening the blinds with my hand the flames were at window height (second storey) the window was cracked and I could immediately feel the heat through the window, I noticed the siding had started melting off the building, I think at this point is when my adrenaline and shock kicked in.
Without really thinking about anything I grabbed Gimlis (my cat) carrier and unbeknownst to poor Gimli he was about to go on a wild ride, I remember just grabbing whatever part of him I could as he was cautiously scurrying around the apartment due to my hasty movements and threw him in his carrier as fast as possible zipped it up and called 911.
Luckily for me I actually had clothes on but due to the situation I didn't think of putting shoes on or grabbing the car keys on my way out of the door to the apartment hallway, as I left I noticed the fire alarm had not gone off and unsurprisingly considering the fire had only just reached the wall of my apartment, I noticed someone at the bottom of the rear entrance and asked "is the fire touching the building"? And his voice I can remember was shaking and quickly said yes.
With cat safely in tow and in my shorts and t-shirt, I remember speedwalking at a speed that could rival any Olympian towards the front entryway of the building I remember quickly knocking on doors as hard as I could yelling fire, at the front of the hallway there was a fire alarm pull handle and the neighbour and I pulled the fire alarm as we walked out of the building.
Once outside a lot of what was just happening started to sink in, noticing the fire engulfing the entirety of the roof above my apartment made me think about all of my belongings and treasured family items that I had built a life through seemingly about to be burnt without a trace.
I only had about 15 percent battery life left on my phone at the time and I was trying to figure out who to call first, I knew my sister was away in Toronto for the weekend but with her house just a couple of km away
I needed to find out if and where she had a key to get in for a place to stay overnight. I think I called about 5 times until she noticed something was up and answered with a groggy "hello" since I woke her up, I remember saying "my apartment is burning down, I think I'll need a place to sleep tonight" at this point I'm assuming the abrupt interruption of my sisters sleep left her a bit puzzled and she mention to me "well put the fire out?" (ha) so I mentioned I had to call mom and hung up.
I called my mom and she immediately knew something was up before I said a thing (mother's intuition I guess) I mentioned what was happening and that I'd need to have her come down and pick me up since I had no shoes it seemed a little crazy to walk a couple of km.
I took some pictures of the fire in between calls and talking to neighbours periodically, people were gathering outside, tenants were crying, a bit hectic and sadness seemed to overcome everyone.
After what seemed like an eternity the fire department showed up and immediately blew through the building, breaking windows, spraying the fire and doing their best against to prevent further damage.
After a sleepless night I couldn't help but want to go see my apartment building, at around 5 am I walked there and reminisced about my things and walked through what happened just hours earlier.. While I was sitting on a bench outside the building with my mom I was greeted by am older couple who were also coming to view the building, they asked what my experience was when I noticed the fire, I had explained what had happened and I could see their faces becoming fairly emotional... It happened to be the mother and father of a tenant in the building who happened to have been woken up by the fire alarm, they hugged me while crying and thanked me for saving their son but I couldn't even process that I could have been responsible for that, it all seemed surreal. Dress Affordable disney princess ball collections wedding collections
It's only been a year, now and evidently not much time to rebuild and restart, but with the incredible help of friends and family it was made possible whether it be words of support, acts if kindness or offering help it has been greatly appreciated and I can't thank all that helped enough.
Over the year I got to meet my lovely girlfriend and her awesome daughter, visited Disneyworld, moved into a house with a giant back yard and am able to live the way I have wanted to for so long. Maybe that's a silver lining to it all.
Also, to anyone renting get contents insurance... It's really a life saver.