The boys were tucked into their beds, and Felicia was just finishing up her shower.  As I walked down the hallway, I could smell a burning odor.  As I tried to determine where it was coming from, Addison called out from his room, “Mom, what is that burning smell?”  Okay – so it wasn’t just me.  Immediately, I called downstairs and asked Max, “Honey, do you smell that?”  He said, “Yeah, it smells like burnt popcorn, but I’m not popping any.”

While he started searching, I tucked Felicia into bed because I knew she was exhausted and would fall right asleep, and there was no need for her to stay up while we tried to figure it out.  I walked downstairs and started sniffing my way around the house trying to figure out where that smell was coming from.  All of a sudden, Max opened the basement door and – whoa! – it was definitely coming from down there.

Both of us searched all over in the basement and couldn’t find the source.  Since we didn’t see any smoke or fire, we decided to stop searching and just continue with the evening.  However, when the smell continued to linger, I said, “Max, maybe we should call 9-1-1.  It’s better to be safe than sorry.”  He wasn’t really comfortable with that because we didn’t see any smoke or a fire, but he said he would just call the fire department for a consultation.

A fireman answered and, after a few minutes, said, “Well, let me send a guy over there just to check it out.  It’s better to be safe than sorry.” 🙂

Max hung up the phone, gave me the quick summary of the conversation and then headed upstairs to check on something.  After about 5 minutes, he came racing down the stairs and said, “Did you hear that?  Did you hear that fire engine siren?  I hope that’s not for our house!  The guy said he was just going to send a guy over to check things out!”

Well, sure enough, within the next 5-10 minutes, we had, not one, but 2 or 3 fire engines parked in front of our house, about eight smaller fire trucks in the street, and approximately 20 firemen getting all dressed up in their gear.  Four of them entered the house – two searched the basement with Max and two searched the main floor and upstairs with me.  Thankfully, the kids were sound asleep (although they were bummed the next morning to hear of all the excitement they missed out on!).

As we were searching upstairs, my group heard over the walkie-talkie, “We found the problem.”  We headed downstairs and realized that the burning smell was coming from the dryer.  There was a large build-up of lint in the back part of the dryer and, somehow, a spark had started the lint on fire.  Thankfully, the dryer had turned off and the fire was out.

The firemen were very reassuring in saying that we did the right thing.  They knew of countless stories of people not calling when they had a burning smell in their house, then going to bed and waking up later with the garage burned down.  (They did make one suggestion though – any type of burning smell is considered an emergency and should be reported by calling 9-1-1.)

Thank you, Lord, for keeping us safe!

  I lift up my eyes to the hills– where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.  He will not let your foot slip– he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.  The Lord watches over you– the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.  The Lord will keep you from all harm– he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. –Psalm 121 (NIV)

Your turn to share:  Have you ever had a house fire?