Thursday, March 17, 2011

My House Sets on Fire 2 - The Sequel!!

Because once is never enough...

Ugh, apparently.

So we're a couple doors down at my cuñados having tea and watching the first episode of Arrested Development, and I was getting frustrated because he was going to miss the story because there was a ton of distracting noise going on outside in the streets. Two seconds later there was a huge thump on the door, and someone screamed "your house is on fire!"
So we run outside to get out, but it wasn't the house we were in, but instead, MY house! The street was full of people staring at the house, and when I opened the door all I noticed is smoke. Thick smoke everywhere. And flames on the kitchen ceiling. It sparked just like when some idiot almost set the ascensor on fire with fireworks. My boyfriend and his brother started trying to put out the fire with water and get the gas tank away from the larger fire on the other side of the wall. Thank God I had stashed about 10 jugs of water last Friday, juuuust in case there actually was a tsunami! A neighbor had been hosing down the fire from over the top of our house for some time already. Soon the firemen charged in. They started spraying a bit of water, but then someone shouted that the fire was in the house below us so they all started to rush out, but then the firefighter outside yelled them back and started putting out the fire from the outside of our house, where the fire had actually started. One firefighter told us to collect our important documents, and I proceeded to stumble around for about 20 minutes in the smoke, unable to find my damn passport. And one of the cats. The one I could find was terrified enough for the both of them and all 18 lives together. When we finally found the other one, she scratched my boyfriend up pretty bad when we tried to get her our of the house. I went back to check on the fire a few times, of which I only really remember seeing them hack down part of our roof and get everything wet. Lots of random sketchy looking people kept coming into our house and the windows, either being really nosey or trying to steal things. It was really frustrating to have to try to protect our things from theft in the middle of all of our other worries.

Aside from everything smelling like a campfire (oh my gosh I cannot even grasp having to do so much laundry! everything reeks), we didn't really lose much of value besides all of our utility tubing, all Angel's really nice woodworking tools and a lot of other stored things that I cannot even remember. We also have to replace the siding and the roof of the kitchen, but I'm going to try to think of that as a positive thing, as I suspected the previous one of housing spiders. And a wall-to-wall mirror completely disappeared, however, as a tradeoff we now have a lot of super sparkly trash! Take that, copuchento neighbors!

God Bless the bomberos in Valparaiso. I couldn't have asked for more. They were quite friendly and nice as well.

With the sketchy randoms running through and all the commotion with the police and fire fighters, I didn't really feel it was the right time to take any photos, as you might understand (I will not deny it was one of the first things to come to mind, pathetic as it may seem). I tried to get some after shots but my boyfriend was pretty angry about the ration of "picture taking" to "assistance cleaning" so I hope you'll forgive me. However, as the title suggests, this is not the first time our house in Valpo has set on fire. Last time I took more pictures.


  1. LYDIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG I am so sorry! what a couple of weeks for you guys! You are going to need a barrel of Ben and Jerrys!!! that may take some time for me to find!

  2. Lo único que podía empeorar la mala noticia del incendio tenían que ser los flaytes robando care palo en medio del jaleo. Dan ganas de tener un rifle y corretearlos.
    Espero puedan recuperarse pronto de esto. ¿Saben qué provocó el incendio? Mi polola es de por allá, y me dice que las instalaciones eléctricas en Valpo son medio prehistóricas y dan problemas a veces.

  3. QUE LATA. I'm so sorry. And stupid flaites. I hate it when people take advantage of other people in a tragedy.

  4. Well, near our door we used to have a workshop for instruments and carving and whatever, but we packed it up in order to have a room to work out in at the house. The good thing is, when people first came in, there was basically nothing at all, much less something worth stealing. The bad news is that everything that used to be in that room is essentially what we lost in the fire. Nothing irreplaceable, but a lot of really nice tools and things.

    If anybody did steal anything, we haven't realized it yet.

    Almost all the fires I have been around in Valparaiso were actually caused by people doing stupid things. We were heating some things earlier in the day, and we wonder if somehow something might have later sparked into a fire at night. Though the neighbor seemed to have a different less explainable theory. Too late to prove or disprove anything.

    Its hard because houses in Valpo are generally made of a lot of wood. Good for earthquakes, bad for fires.

  5. I know I'm a bit late on commenting, but oh Lydia, I'm so sorry to hear about this. I am very happy though that both you and your cats were fine.

  6. Hi Lydia- Wow- so sorry to hear about this! How are you recovering from it all? Even though you didn't lose anything important, the emotional ordeal of it must be pretty heavy-duty. Is this the SAME house that burned last time?
    Like you say, all the wood in Valpo makes it dangerous for fires, and I'm sure many buildings aren't up to code, so even if yours is "impecable" a careless neighbor can turn all your efforts to ashes...
    In any event- I'm glad that you guys are safe and hope things get back together as soon as possible.

  7. What in the world happened? Did the firefighters have any theories as to where/why the fire started?

    OMG, I cannot believe that this happened to you AGAIN.

  8. Late, but stil sorry to hear. I syour house inhabitable? Does it still all smell? I'm so sorry you've gone through this yet again. Rotten, rotten luck. And the flaites running in is anger-provoking. I hope you discover that they didn't take anything. OY!

  9. hahah Margaret- no its not the same house as last time. that was actually kinda more of an apartment block type thing where my boyfriend lived with various relatives and after I moved here indefinitely we found our own place. During the earthquake that other place had the walls separate a few inches from the floors and they moved out too. Since then one friend and one relative moved back into another place in the same building, I have no idea why... it seems they must have just put some pasta muro and new paint over the whole structural damage.

    Our house is absolutely fine, we lost probably a couple hundred dollars worth of stuff, and we still havent replaced the sidelines. We have an architect neighbor trying to threaten us about...something? who knows, basically freaking out about it. But really the fire was only in the kitchen and balcony, and our kitchen is so old that fixing it up was easy and inexpensive. I just came home from work the next day and my boyfriend said he found some wood in an empty lot and used it to replace the ceililng.... given that everybody in valpo works more or less in this manner, i completely understand the whole "not up to code" issue!!

    Kyle- possibly my boyfriend caused some spark or something earlier in the day. the neighbor next door mentioned... something flew by the window? which makes me think it was either a flaming bird or stray firework jaja so we don't know for sure. The police said if they knew for sure it were us they would've sued us.

    Eileen- I walked around smelling like I was wearing "the day after a campfire" clothes for about a week and a half, by then it was pretty much faded in the house too. Nothing noticable was taken, the couple guys we saw were kinda shoved back out by someone when we saw them or other until we thought to have someone kinda stand guard.