Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Friday was an awful day! When I stumbled out to my RV kitchen that morning to put on some water for tea, the stove exploded into fire!

Sweet timid Misha screamed and ran for the bedroom! I knew that wasn't a good idea - the last thing we needed was to get trapped in the back of the coach! So I grabbed her (and my purse - a lady can't go anywhere without her purse - and keys) and headed for the car - in my short black nightie and gray wool socks. Tossed her in the car and moved it out of the way.

My phone was on the charger in the bedroom, so I had to start knocking on doors for help. The park here in Show Low is getting pretty empty now as folks head for warmer spots. Plus it was 'free donuts and coffee' Friday morning at the rec center, so it was three doors before someone answered.

My very nice neighbor called 911 and brought over his fire extinguisher - I hadn't been able to break mine loose from its brackets - and he braved the smoke and fire and put out the flames before the fire folks even arrived.

Three cop cars came flying in with sirens blaring, then two fire vehicles, and finally a fire engine, but by then the fun was over. Except the smoke - OMG the smoke - it was ugly, smelly and horrible on the eyes, noise and throat. RVs are made of plastic and fiberglass, you know. And the fire truck "wasn't the one with the air evacuation unit" - of course.

We still have no idea what caused the fire. I had tried to turn the furnace on some time earlier, and it didn't kick in as usual, so I turned on my little space heater and went back to bed. There was no smell of gas when I went back into the kitchen area, and the propane detector was silent, so I had no idea there might be anything wrong.

Damage is minimal, relatively speaking. RV fires are known to be fast moving and deadly. My cooktop is toast, the cabinetry around it is burned, and the floor beneath it is charred.

Insurance? I have $1000 deductible, so it'll be interesting to see if I get any help at all in repairing the mess. Spoke Friday with the company, yesterday with a senior claims adjustor who assigns the claim to an inspector, and to the inspector this morning on the phone. Since I have to leave here on Sunday (the park closes for the winter season), the inspector is unable to see me until I get set up again in Tucson (where I plan to spend the winter). Dandy.

What about my kitchen?? Well, I have my BBQ, I have a toaster oven, and my microwave was not damaged! I'm amazed at how many times already I've wanted to cook something on the stove. Oh well. That's why there is pizza delivery, right?

I've spent almost every minute of the last four days cleaning up the mess - and the smell. I had a raging headache for the first three days, presumably from the smell and the chemicals. The fire extinguisher was one that shot out a chemical powder - that tiny fine light powder that covered every single thing in the RV and in the drawers! I've shampooed the carpets three times, used most of a bottle of Spic 'n Span on the rest of the floor, gone thru two full bottles of Febreeze and an entire bottle of Windex. I've used Pledge three times on the wood cabinets and trim, cleaned the air filters and done 9 loads of wash. So far!

And now I find that I won't even SEE a claims adjustor for at least another week? And then who knows how long before I can get repairs? I'm going to take up drinking.

I did have an RV mobile mechanic come by to inspect the propane system before turning it back on. He couldn't find any leaks. So, who knows what it was all about.

And this on top of the fact that one of my dearest friends, my Maui friend I just visited, is now in the hospital in very critical condition after his home (that I just stayed in) burned to the ground last week. I'm not sure I ever want to see a flame again, anywhere, ever.

The Animal Rescue Site

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