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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Might as well address the fire.....

It's got to be a lingering question, right?

The fire started at around 10 in the morning on July 12. Dan and I were both home...(he didn't have class until later that day and I had a (much) later meeting at work that evening), so we were just enjoying a lazy second cup of coffee watching The Today Show.

We heard a popping noise upstairs and figured one of the dogs got into something or other. Dan went up to check it out and I topped off my coffee.

Minutes later, we'd be standing out front, watching the (incredible) Troy firemen cut a hole in our roof to put out the fire.

The light in the ceiling of the upstairs bathroom sparked and caught fire. It knocked the glass dome off the lighting fixture (that was the noise we heard) and very quickly engulfed the attic in smoke and flames.

The fire itself was relatively benign and stayed only in that bathroom's ceiling and the attic above it. The resulting water, damage, however was extensive.  Our insurance company thinks the bulb was to blame; the bulb manufacturer says it was the maker of the lighting fixture itself. They'll litigate that for years to come, I am sure- but from our perspective: it really doesn't matter all that much. It was just one of those freak occurrences...the kind that change your life forever.

By the end of the day, we were able to definitively answer the age old cocktail party question: "what would you grab if your house was on fire?" .....but we had a thousand more questions to ask. Chief among them: "what's going to happen to our home?"

(for the record, once our pets were out safely, we took my grandparents' wedding album and our laptops)

2 Locust was so much more than a house- it was home.....We bought it because we loved the house and because we loved the neighborhood ...I grew up on Blakeley Court (a 5 minute walk away) and we both knew the East Side well. We wanted Dan's kids to go to School 16 and to be able to walk to Kinloch Park and Spring Little League. It really wasn't just the house we fell in love with: it was the sidewalks, the streetlights, the neighbors, the everything.

After the fire, the most important thing to us was getting home again. The battles with the insurance company were legendary. (Seriously-it could be a whole separate blog.) But we fought really, really hard to rebuild our house and eventually won.

As you now know- the victory was short-lived because almost immediately thereafter, we learned my job was moving to New Hampshire.

That's what leaves us where we are today: we have to rebuild 2 Locust Ave with the funds for which we fought so diligently. And, then, we have to sell it immediately so we can move to NH.

For someone, it's the opportunity of a life time: to buy that 122 year old Victorian in our neighborhood with NONE of the traditional worries about the roof, the plumbing, the electric, the anything.....

For us, it's a really bittersweet way to leave home. On the one hand we get to restore 2 Locust to the best possible version of itself (which we always wished we had the money to do) - but on the other hand: we won't be the ones to enjoy it.

I guess that's just the way it goes sometimes.

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