It all started with a lovely warm fire in our sitting room stove this morning. Of course, Elv and I had no idea that we were creating the setting for a fire call. Just a nice morning of coffee and quiet time by the fire.
The plan for today was for the children and me to haul firewood from the woods. Elv thought there would be around 4 loads and he would assist us in loading at the woods. So Elv and Lance left for a short day of work with intent to help us later. Lance planned to be home to study for Sunday School teaching this afternoon.
Everything was ticking along as planned. Elv and Lance were off to work. I had made a quick breakfast of pancakes for the children and stacked the dirty dishes in a sink of hot water. The girls were getting ready to go out the door when we noticed an odd smell.
I followed my nose downstairs to till I came to a stop leaning over the stove looking behind it at the chimney door behind the stove. It is a cute little door with a pretty design all painted white with a little catch just right for keeping it closed. The problem now was that it was all glowing red as if there was a fire in there. Wait! The fire is supposed to be in the stove, not in the chimney.
I quickly called Elv who advised me to call 911. I did that and dispatch seemed to know who I was and where I was calling from. Neatest thing since sliced bread. All I had to do was to say I had a pretty good chimney fire.
But first I must back track a little. Last night at the supper table, Lance who is Lieutenant on the fire department, was bemoaning the fact that Bass Lake Fire Department could soon be without a chief and therefore no longer in existence. Well, I certainly couldn't see a problem with the department today.
In about three shakes after dispatch paged the crew I had six guys milling around in our basement sitting room solving and throwing their potions on the fire. Lance had the little hand held xray machine that gave him the temperature of the chimney walls in the house here. And they all decided that the fire was indeed at the bottom of the chimney and nowhere else in our house.
Since the fire in the stove was almost out, the chimney fire seemed to be as well, we decided to go ahead and haul firewood as planned. After the first load I came in and checked the chimney wall again by laying my hand on it. OOH! Very hot yet. Hmmm.
I think we put on 250 miles today hauling firewood. Eight loads later the woodlot is quite full of it. While Elv finished up the last two loads, Lance and I cleaned out the bottom of the chimney.
We pulled out buckets of black stuff and it was STILL quite warm. I saw a coal once as we worked. We put the pans/buckets outside the door and left everything in the chimney/stove area open and airing for Elv to inspect when he got in. Then we could put the stove back and clean up the mess.
The mess was mostly a dirty white film all over everything in the room including me by the time we were done. But it cleaned up easily with the vacuum sweeper and mopping water.
After supper Elv went outside for some something and noticed that one of the pans of creosote on the patio that we had taken out of the chimney after the fire was supposedly out, was now a mass of red hot coals burning away nicely in the open air. Does anyone wonder why chimney/house fires are notorious for restarting?
Elv says that if I need that much attention, I am just to let him know after this. He even offered to stay home from work on Saturday morning if that's what it takes. :) I have always wondered what it would take to get him to not go to work on Saturdays. :)
We're all grateful for God's loving care over us today, and for a quick response from BLFD.