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July 21st 2024 - 09:21
August 25th, 2005
August 25th, 2005

The Unexpected

The House Fire - shortly after my arrival
The House Fire - shortly after my arrival
My home sits on a lot with two houses. We rent out the second house - itīs pretty standard - or it was until Wed. evening. Kellei and I were returning Back from a really spectacular scuba dive up at Egmont (near the skookumchuck rapids) and as we pulled into Sechelt the fire departmentīs truck pulled out just in front of us. This in itself isnīt special - itīs happened many times - but as you realize that you seem to be following it home things change.

When we saw the smoke from About 3 blocks away we knew it was close - by 2 blocks we knew it was on our street, and by one Block Kellei had the keys in her hand ready to get our dog Wyatt out of the house.

We pulled up to the property right behind the first fire truck. It was the house in the Back - which was better then if it was our home - but still shocking. Then the surreal part starts - Kellei and I last saw all the fire fighters at their annual dinner - we took portrait photos of the entire crew and their families. We are also friends of the fire chief who is a key player in the Sunshine Coast Wooden Boat Festival - as are Kellei and I. Seeing the Dep. Chief walk out of our backyard was the first thing I remember. We last saw him at the dinner - we sat at the same table with him.

So, youīve come home to this scene... the neighbourhood is all gathered on the street in front of your house - the fire trucks are still arriving, your dog is totally confused but scared enough to be completely quiet, and a bunch of your friends are dressed in fire fighting equipment Heading to your backyard - what do you do? how do you react? My reaction was to grab a camera - itīs what half of the neighbourhood was doing.

Being a photographer amongst other things, it seemed the most natural thing - so I started taking photos. That and trying to keep out of the way and ensure everyone had the info they needed. I guess Iīve spent enough time training for and working in emergency situations through the Coast Guard to have a slightly relaxed reaction to these things.

Anyway - in the end, and Iīll skip the details here, there is a lot to be thankful for...
1) Nobody was seriously hurt (the tenant suffered from the smoke and was taken to hospital - but is OK)
2) It didnīt spread - we live right next to a large park (all forest) and our home was only 70ī away.
3) The fire department saved a lot of the contents on the lower floor - which consisted of storage for the tenants and, unfortunately, for their friend who was storing everything in the garage temporarily.

So thatīs the story. Now itīs all About insurance and reconstruction. They are still investigating the cause, I should know today. Iīll probably spout on About this now from time to time as itīs going to be a big part of my life for a while, so I hope you donīt mind.

Tags: home fire

More Images

Dep. Fire Chief in the foreground
Dep. Fire Chief in the foreground

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