As the fire was getting put out, one of my friends who had worked for a couple of TV stations said that he recognized a reporter whom he was sure was about to come interview me on camera. He thought that I would feel better about being on television if I were not wearing the 4XL t-shirt and ripped flannel pajama pants. Thor and I followed him down to his place where I donned a golf shirt and a pair of jeans. It was not exactly my style, but it was a marked improvement.
A few minutes later I was being interviewed. At that point I could not remember how it was I woke up. It would be a few days before I would remember that it was that the window broke and woke me.
As the interview was ending the reporter asked “So what are your next steps?”
“What are my next steps? you insensitive bitch! Are you kidding me? This is not the first house fire you have seen, maybe you should be giving me some tips.” That is what I thought to myself. What I did say was considerably nice. According to a web page at volunteertv.com, what I said was “I don’t know. . . . I don’t know what’s next. I never had a home burn down, so I am not sure what the procedure is.” (Sadly, the video is no longer available.)
When the fire was out, the next step was to completely douse the house to ensure that there were no longer any hot spots that would subsequently reignite, a step that it would have paid me to heed eight ours earlier. During this process, the force of the huge hose knocked down all of the chimneys. Having four feet of brick in the kitchen would make navigating it a bit complicated.
I learned subsequently that the chimneys were knocked down intentionally. Apparently chimneys are weakened by fires and the lack of stuff to hold them up. A couple weeks later I moved several hundred bricks to recover some of my pots and pans. It would have been easier without all those damn bricks.
I asked a fireman if he could please find my keys and wallet that I believed were on the floor by my bed. He came up empty handed, but did salvage a toolbox and a pair of Chacos. Shoes would come in handy.
Sometime during all of this, a friend had called AAA and asked them to create a key to my car, which they did. I know that they did not ask for my identification because mine was missing. Before long, however, I had a newly cut-by-the-number key to my car.
All of a sudden, the firemen were gone. Could I go in my house, crossing the yellow tape that the fire department had outlined my property with? I decided that I could. I went in and looked for the keys and wallet a bit more. I did get a set of spare keys still hanging on the wall in the hall closet.
It was time to start doing all of the things that you do after your house burns down.