It’s Monday at 2 A.M. I’m sound asleep. I sleep hard, and as noted in a previous thread, become very disoriented when woken from a deep slumber, as some of you probably do.
Ding dong. Bang bang bang. Ding dong. Bang bang bang bang. Dingdongdingdongdingdong.
I calmly get up, see red lights flashing throught the front bedroom windows. I get dressed, brush my teeth, put some sandals on. Red flashing lights should be triggering something, but they’re not. I get a drink of water. The knocking has stopped, so it must not have been important.
Red flashing lights? I feel like Arthur Dent when he saw the bulldozer in his front yard on that (for him) fateful day. Something should be triggered by the lights, but nothing happens.
I go to the living room and hear the sound of high pressure water hitting metal. I open the side door and quickly shut it. When I saw the flames shooting up 10 feet from the truck, I woke up.
“Ahhh… now I understand the red flashing lights.”
I quickly go the front door and out into the front yard. I walk around to the side yard and there in the driveway, firemen are extinguishing the truck. And my van. And the yard. But thank Og, not my house. It did not require extinguishing.
I simply looked at the truck, looked at one of the firemen, then without a word, walked back in the house and picked up the phone.
I called my father, because as, you may have noticed, I have called it the truck, because it is not my truck, it is my father’s that I had borrowed for the weekend.
“The truck’s on fire.”
“The truck’s on fire.”
“Did it burn to the ground?”
“Don’t know, it’s still burning.”
“I’ll be right there.”
Walked back outside and the firemen had doused the flames and were spraying foam. I talked to the Chief, gave him my name and address for the report. One of the firemen told me that if the house hadn’t been made of brick, or if someone hadn’t driven by and called it in when they did, the house would have caught, too. I live in a rural area with no neighbors that can see the house. No regular night-time traffic, either, so it was pure luck that someone drove by. There was no evidence of foul play and all of the firemen agreed that it started under the dash or in the engine near the firewall and was probably electrical. They pack up their gear while I’m following them around verbalizing my appreciation for putting out the fire and keeping it from getting the house. They leave, lights flashing no more. I stand there in the dark, report in hand, looking at a smoldering heap of metal.
My father gets to my place shortly after, Mom in tow. He looks at me and asks, “So, you still want to buy the truck?” That broke the ice. We talked about the options, they went home around 3:30, I tried but failed to sleep, and called into work. Spent the day looking at the NADA values for the truck and vans and phone correspondence with the parents and helping get the insurance particulars in order.
Full light of the next morning (Monday) revealed nothing but a shell, badly warped. My VW van parked in front of it was gutted, and the other VW van parked beside it suffered severe paint damage along with melting the turn signal indicators and reflectors on the side closest to the truck, and a cracked windshield.
The fire came within a foot and a half of the house.
Currently, I’m counting my blessings. It could have caught the house on fire with me inside. It could have happened at Lady Baggins’ house the night before, where it would have burned the house down with us inside. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I narrowly escaped death and I am lucky to be alive, but it could have been much worse.
Just thought I’d share.