View Full Version : Merry Christmas my house just burned down!

12-25-2008, 04:49 AM
My husband and I were on our way to another city when we got a phone call from our son that the house was burning and all he could save were the dogs (thankfully) and our computer tower and his lap top. He's a medical student and had only been home from university for about 17 hours. All his books are gone, his newly purchased stethescope and other medical equipment. All of the research material I'd collected over the years for my first novel is gone and all my research material for my current work in progress is gone. It's an unbelievable feeling to know that all you have in this world is the clothes on your back. But the family and pets are safe and that's what counts. Friends and neighbors have been terrific and we've even been offered a house to live in until our house can be rebuilt in the spring, assuming the fire insurance company doesn't deny our claim. They're always trying to find ways not to pay so we have to add to our expenses and get a lawyer. Gr-r-r. I was pretty upset at first but now I'm simply overwhelmed by the generosity of the people in my life, some of whom I hardly even know. It seems strange to say but I think I'm going to remember this as one of the best Christmas holidays ever!

Ol' Fashioned Girl
12-25-2008, 04:56 AM
Oh, no! :Hug2:

12-25-2008, 05:19 AM
Ishtar, I'm so sorry about your house, but so glad your pets and son are fine and have such wonderful friends and family who can help you out in your time of need. That's fabulous and may '09 be much better for you and yours. ((((((((HUGS)))))))))

Bayou Bill
12-25-2008, 05:36 AM
A house fire is a tough deal at anytime, but during the holidays it's even crueler. This is one Christmas to remember you'd probably rather forget.

Best of luck and please keep us posted.

Bayou Bill :cool:

12-25-2008, 05:43 AM
Goodness! How terribly awful. You have a great attitude about this. I do not know I would. I would like to think I would count my blessings and not have a pity fit. But...

I will keep a good thought for you and yours and hope that all works out well for you.


12-25-2008, 05:47 AM

I'll be praying for you and yours.

(And please check your rep points...)

12-25-2008, 06:19 AM
I'm so sorry to hear about your house. I am glad that your dogs and son are ok. I hope that somehow your Christmas is just a little bit joyful despite this horrible thing happening. My thoughts are with you and I hope the insurance company treats you fair. :Hug2:

12-25-2008, 06:25 AM
oh my. hugs for being so positive.

12-25-2008, 06:31 AM
Oh, I'm so sorry! Do you know how the fire started? I'm glad you're all OK. The computer tower would be the first non-living thing I'd try to save, too.

12-25-2008, 06:39 AM
Oh, no! I'm so sorry! :(

Calla Lily
12-25-2008, 06:42 AM

12-25-2008, 06:46 AM
Oh my gosh, Ishtar'sgate! I am so sorry. You're inspiring with your upbeat attitude and I hope it carries on you. I hope all goes well with your insurance company and that's just a concern you don't have.

Take care. {{{{{hugs}}}}}

12-25-2008, 07:06 AM
Yeah, I had that experience about 12 years ago. Went out for dinner and came back to smoke pouring out of the house and firemen pouring in. It certainly puts one's life and priorities into perspective.

You've got a great attitude for getting through this and you're very fortunate to have so much support. Research can be replaced (been there, done that) as can everything except living things.

I was amazed by the amount of aid we also got from various charities--do check out the Red Cross. They provided some basic staples and vouchers that pulled us through the first couple weeks.

Best of luck in restarting your lives. Please keep us posted and know you're not alone.

12-25-2008, 07:29 AM
Wow. Hardly know what else to say except good luck. I wish for you the fewest number of hassles possible to get your household reestablished.

12-25-2008, 07:33 AM
How close are you to Toronto? Will you need furniture? God knows I have too much in this house - we can always spare something. A rocking chair, a couch, an end table or two, Even a TV or a computer monitor.

ETA: PM me if you need anything and we're within a coupla hours drive. Canada's pretty big.

12-25-2008, 07:53 AM
I'm very sorry for your loss. But it's a blessing to hear that your son is safe.

12-25-2008, 08:02 AM
Wow! Fast thinking on your son's part. Awesome that he and the pets survived the nightmare. AND he rescued computers.
Wonderful news to hear, how so many have helped you out. I know, after Hurricane Andrew, we looked around with new eyes, at people, ourselves; puts everything into instant perspective.

I hope, through it all, your holidays can still be a joy, as it seems the miracle is that you still have one another.


12-25-2008, 08:11 AM
Wow. I am so glad you are all okay. If you need anything be sure to ask. Best wishes to you and yours.

((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((YOU))))))))))))))) ))))))))))))))))))

Beach Bunny
12-25-2008, 08:37 AM
Oh, no! I am so sorry. :Hug2: I am glad your son and your pets are safe.

Jersey Chick
12-25-2008, 08:44 AM
I'm so sorry this happened, but at least your son and pets are okay. {{{HUGS}}}

Don Allen
12-25-2008, 09:31 AM
Its certainly not a fun time, but material things don't me squat when you realize that you didn't lose a loved one or a animal... It may not seem like it but you may have just had a very Merry Christmas. God Bless and good luck....

12-25-2008, 09:40 AM
I wish you a speedy and smooth recovery!

12-25-2008, 09:47 AM
Terrible news, but your son, pets and computers are safe, and as you said, there's quite a blessing in that. Please keep us posted and know that we're all pulling for you. {{{HUGS}}}

DL Hegel
12-25-2008, 09:53 AM
My heart goes out to you Ishtar.

12-25-2008, 09:58 AM
I'm so sorry to hear that, but I'm glad to hear that you and your family are ok. I wish you restoration in the upcoming months.

12-25-2008, 11:19 AM
Omg that's terrible.

I am humbled by the way you've turned this around to be a positive life experience, and I wish you the best for the new year, and hope that you don't get stiffed by the insurance peeps.


12-25-2008, 11:27 AM
I am sorry for your loss, but so humbled by what you've found from it. Warm thoughts to your son, for dealing with this difficult time. And to you? A huge attaboy for the way that you are teaching him, by your strength and example, this oh so important life lesson.

12-25-2008, 11:51 AM
I'm sorry for your loss. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.

12-25-2008, 12:38 PM
I am so sorry this happened to you, but relieved that your son and pets are okay. Your attitude is amazing and I'm glad you've gotten help already. I hope you will continue to get the help you need and deserve.

12-25-2008, 12:39 PM
Ishtar'sgate, what more can I say, except add my voice to those rallying around you. I'l so glad you're all OK. Houses can be rebuilt, research can be repeated, but life is precious and that's the main thing. Hugs to you and yours

12-25-2008, 12:44 PM
I'm so sorry, Ishtar! I know how you feel, almost exactly. When I was in college, I came home from my last class the night before Thanksgiving to find that my apartment had burned down. Not the building, just the apartment. I never found out what caused the fire. I lost almost everything and spent Thanksgiving hungry, but my computer, my computer data (including my writing), and all of my cats survived, so I counted myself lucky.

I hope things look up for you soon.

12-25-2008, 12:44 PM
I'm so sorry, Ishtar! Hopefully you'll look back on this and laugh a little (after cringing, of course). Despite all the work you have ahead of you, manage a merry little Christmas for yourself and your family. This candy cane's for you.

12-25-2008, 01:14 PM
It's all been said by everyone here rallying round with their thoughts and good wishes. I can only add mine and applaud you for your positive attitude regarding the goodness you've discovered from folk nearby.

12-25-2008, 05:11 PM
This is horrible. I think Don said it best though--it may have just been a very Merry Christmas, in that you didn't lose your son or any of your pets. You're not dealing with a death in the family as a result of the loss of your home. Please let us all know how the insurance company responds. I'm an American and very leery of insurance companies. They have no problem taking your money every month, but file a claim just once and you find you're no longer a "preferred customer."

Having so many people offering assistance makes all the difference in the world during a crisis like this. You are very fortunate. Your attitude and outlook are things to be admired.

12-25-2008, 05:17 PM
I'm sorry about your house, but I'm glad you're keeping your spirits up.

One thing is for sure: it will be a Christmas to remember.

Leah J. Utas
12-25-2008, 10:49 PM
I am so sorry. You are in my thoughts.

12-25-2008, 11:00 PM
I am so sorry this happened to you, but relieved that your son and pets are okay. Your attitude is amazing and I'm glad you've gotten help already. I hope you will continue to get the help you need and deserve.

Like Nevada says.
cyber sympathies and encouragement heading your way...

12-26-2008, 09:11 AM
Thanks for all your prayers and well wishes as well as for offers of furniture and textbooks for my son, Ryan. We live in B.C. so we're a long ways from Ontario and I'm not sure US texts are the same as Canadian. Your generous offers are appreciated though. JennaGlazer we still are not sure exactly how the fire started and Tigerclub I'm glad you saved your cats. To lose a pet in such a horrible way would be devastating. The only thing worse would be to lose a family member. My son said it was hard not to keep trying to go back into the house to get things but he knew he'd be overcome by smoke if he did. We managed to have a great Christmas with family and friends today. We're hoping to move out of our hotel room on Monday. The hotel staff have been very compassionate and thoughtful and that's made things much easier. Will definitely keep everyone posted on our progress with the insurance company.

12-26-2008, 09:32 AM
More hugs, Ishtar. I'm glad you spent some time with family and friends today, and I'm really glad your son resisted the impulse to go back into the house to save more things.

They're only things. It may be hard to do it in some cases, but they can be replaced. He can't!

Mythical Tiger
12-26-2008, 10:27 AM
*hugs* kudos for keeping such a positive attitude.

12-26-2008, 06:08 PM
I'm so sorry. I hope the insurance company doesn't give you too many problems.

There are several MDs who hang out here at AW. Perhaps they have extra equipment or know where they could get some to replace your son's losses.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

12-26-2008, 07:10 PM
I'm with NeuroFizz about the insurance company. You have great fortitude. I doubt that I would have as much if faced with similar circumstances. May the darkness of all this be transformed into a great blessing for you and your family. Most certainly, my thoughts and prayers are with you.


12-26-2008, 08:07 PM
so glad you and loved ones are okay. keep us posted on the way your insurance company behaves. ---s6

12-27-2008, 01:18 AM
Thanks guys. I'll keep you posted on what happens with our insurance company.

12-27-2008, 03:50 AM

12-27-2008, 06:24 AM
I am so sorry for the loss, but am happy to hear your family is alive and well-

I am leaving a position in medicine in which I will need my Stethoscope, I would gladly give it to your son if it helps- It is a cardiac Litman- not the best but not the worst either. let me know and it is his.

12-27-2008, 09:08 AM
Ishtar, wow...

So sorry for your overwhelming material losses, but also so thankful that you, your son, your pets, and even those computers were spared. Praying you'll have as smooth a recovery as possible...and I'm glad you've experienced some 'amazing grace' this Christmas, despite the circumstances that brought it.

12-27-2008, 09:32 AM
I hope you get settled quickly. glad your son and pets are safe.

12-27-2008, 06:43 PM
Sorry to read this. Let us know if there's anything we can do.

12-28-2008, 08:00 AM
I am so sorry for the loss, but am happy to hear your family is alive and well-

I am leaving a position in medicine in which I will need my Stethoscope, I would gladly give it to your son if it helps- It is a cardiac Litman- not the best but not the worst either. let me know and it is his.
Thanks so much for your kind offer. My son is house sitting for friends so my husband and I can have the hotel room to ourselves. I know very little about the kind of equipment he's supposed to have but will relay the message and get back to you as soon as I can. Everyone has been so supportive. I learned only today that our small community is having a dinner/dance to raise money to help us rebuild. I can't wait until we're in a position to pay forward all the kindness we've been shown.
Thanks again to all.

12-28-2008, 08:14 AM
I wish you the best for getting back to a normal life.

12-28-2008, 09:33 PM
Thank goodness your son was there to save the animals and retrieve what he could ... and that everyone is safe.

I'm also curious as to how the fire started.
All the best to you and your family.

12-29-2008, 04:33 AM
I am sorry for your loss and I wish you luck for the New year.

12-29-2008, 07:56 AM
My heart goes out to you, but it's also heartwarming to hear about the kindness of your fellow man in your time of crisis. When the church where I worked burned, people from all over the state came to help and to give what they could--it didn't matter what religion they were or even if they were a religion at all. They just wanted to help. I'm so very sorry for your loss, but I know you'll carry that wonderful feeling of faith in your fellow man with you forever.