Close to home

October 23rd, 2007

“You have one new message,” the robotic voice on my answering machine announced.

I pushed play and listened as I put my groceries away.

“Hey, Heidi, it’s Mel,” my sister’s usually cheerful voice was quite subdued, “If you haven’t checked your email, you need to go check it right now. Bye.”

—–

I stared at my computer screen.

I didn’t even know there were any fires in San Diego, I thought to myself in disbelief.

I read the email my Mom had sent our family and just shook my head, not wanting to believe it.

My brother, his wife and their three young sons were evacuated from their house in San Diego early Monday morning.

—–

“They are so lucky the church called and woke them up,” Mel said. She had called again, to make sure I knew what was going on.

“How did the church know?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” she said, “Somebody must have been tracking the fire. They went to bed Sunday night with the fire far away and woke up Monday morning when the church called to tell them they needed to evacuate. That gave them enough time to grab their portable safe and take pictures of their rooms for insurance. They were packing their cars when the police knocked on their door and told them they had to leave immediately.”

She paused.

“As they were driving away, they saw the fire coming to their street. Some of their neighbors tried to rush to pack their cars, but it was too late. The tires on their cars were melting, so they had to run away on foot.”

My heart sank, not able to imagine the urgency they must have felt.

“He said it was so hot that when a house caught fire, the windows on the neighboring house would melt.”

—–

It wasn’t until the next morning that my brother was able to find out if his house had burned or not.

He wasn’t allowed to go and look. A police officer at the blockade wrote down his address and went to the end of the cul-de-sac to check.

Over 100 homes in his area have burned.

I can only imagine his relief when the officer returned and told him his home had been spared.

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7 Comments

Meghan Till | 10/23/2007 7:01 pm

That is a sad but amazing story. I’m glad that your brother and family got out and that their house was spared. It’s so scary.

 
andrea shaw | 10/24/2007 5:53 am

what a amazing story. it goes to show you how the lord will bless you if you are doing what’s right. i’m so glad that they are ok and they were able to get out quickly. it’s so crazy how the fire just keeps burning!

 
Tearese | 10/24/2007 8:17 am

woah, thats crazy! Thank goodness the church called! Yeah, I hadn’t watched the news in a while, and I only knew about the fires because I saw some comments on popular blogs making reference to the people there. Glad their family is safe!

 
dep | 10/24/2007 9:29 am

having been evacuated for a wild fire I know it is no fun. my heart goes out to all those affected by the fires in southern CA. I’m glad your brother is safe and hope he remains so and his home too. God bless.

 
whimsy | 10/24/2007 10:11 am

Wow, Heidi, I’m so glad your family is safe. I grew up in SoCal, so it’s very weird to get these continuing updates on people I know that are being evacuated. It’s an important and timely reminder to be prepared for whatever might come our way.

 
Rachael | 10/24/2007 10:14 am

Glad your family is safe! I was watching the news this morning at the gym and I was completely blown away by how bad it’s getting…like you, I didn’t really know much about it until my husband mentioned the fires.

 
Melissa | 10/24/2007 3:02 pm

Wow, how scary for them!! So glad to hear that they were blessed with safety and a protected house. I also didn’t know much about the fires, since I don’t usually watch the news (way too much for my little ones to see/hear)…Bill brought home a paper yesterday and across the top it said something about “700 homes lost”…but by the time I’d read that, the number had more than doubled. So sad. I read today that the weather is finally starting to take a turn for the better, so hopefully this nightmare will soon come to an end…

 

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