Call 911, Your Shed’s On Fire…

I’m beginning this post with a little commercial clip that shows a glimpse of how our day went, about a month ago.  The only difference was our adventure involved a “He Shed” and a lawnmower…

It was Friday, June 21, and I had a nine o’clock appointment for a mammogram.  What a way to start the day, but that mammogram was only the beginning of unpleasant things to come–and that whole mammogram experience is a story for another day!

Ed decided to ride along with me for my appointment, so he was late in starting his chores that day.  Friday is often “grass mowing day”, and once we got home, Ed was anxious to get started.  It was already 11:30 when he started, so I asked him to stop at 12:30 so we could eat lunch.

Ed parked the lawn mower and came inside at 12:30, just like I’d asked.  He quickly changed his clothes and we sat down to make  sandwiches for our lunch.  While making the sandwiches we heard what sounded like a car door slam.  One of us asked, “What was that?”, but kept on making our lunch.  A couple of minutes later, our daughter came running over from next door, yelling “Call 911, your shed’s on fire!”  The look of terror on her face was something I won’t soon forget.  (I later learned that our daughter thought Ed was involved the fire.)

Ed jumped up and ran outside with our daughter, while I quickly dialed 911.  After I gave the information to the 911 dispatcher, I ran outside, too.  I was not prepared for what I saw.  Our tool shed and the adjoining shelter were already engulfed in huge flames!  Flames were climbing two trees next to the shed, as well!  I turned around, came back inside, and called 911 again to tell them the fire had spread to the woods, too.

The dispatcher assured me the trucks were on the way.  By then, Ed had the water hose stretched out and yelled for me to turn the water on, while Brandy rushed to move our car away from the fire.  (Our carport/utility house is located around twelve feet away from the burning shed).  I stood powerless as I watched all of our lawn/garden equipment go up in flames.  That was one HOT fire!  Meanwhile, Ed kept spraying those huge flames with his garden hose. (and yes, he looked somewhat like the man with the pitiful water hose, in the State Farm commercial)

It seemed like forever, but was only ten minutes until the fire department arrived.  I’ve never been so happy to see a fire truck in my whole life!  A couple of fire trucks came, as well as several cars of volunteers.  Friends and neighbors also began arriving to see what was going on.  Within a few minutes, the fire was extinguished, and only a pile of rubble remained.  Anything related to lawn/garden had been burned to a crisp!

Upon inspection, the firemen told us the fire originated with our lawnmower, where the fire had burned the hottest.  It was then we realized what the explosion was that we heard while making our sandwiches!  Within ten minutes after Ed had shut the mower off, it exploded and burst into flames, which leads me to believe it may have been smoldering when he parked it.

At first, we couldn’t believe how quickly this fire burned or how hot it was! When I first saw the shed, the inside of the it looked like an inferno, with flames  shooting up the two massive pine trees on either side of it!  Afterward, we remembered, that Ed had bought extra fuel for his mower, his tractor, and the pressure washer, and all of it was stored inside of the shed!

In retrospect, Ed and I have several things to be thankful for, to God, regarding this fire.  First of all, I’ve never given Ed a time to stop mowing–ever.  He always mows on his own time table.  If I had I not asked him to stop, he’d have finished mowing the grass before he stopped for lunch, therefore, he could have been on the mower when it caught fire and exploded (with a full tank of gas).

Next, we are thankful that our daughter is vigilant, and has a little dog who barks at everything.  It was because of  Jack she went outside to investigate the explosion and subsequent noises that quickly followed, therefore discovering the fire before it had a chance to spread.

Third, we are thankful for our fire department, who was able to respond so quickly and efficiently!  Thanks to them, the fire was contained and extinguished quickly.  From the time Ed shut off the mower until the time the fire department finished their work and drove away, was exactly one hour.

At first, Ed was a bit bummed about losing his “He Shed”.  He lost a very large collection of garden tools (many of them special because his daddy had given them to him).    He lost several grills, a smoker, several ladders, a wheel barrow, a garden wagon, and a lot more. Of course, the most important [and expensive] item he lost was his zero turn lawnmower.

Fortunately, Ed was able to find and purchase a new lawnmower within a week of the fire.  (The frantic search for a new mower would also make another good post!)  So far, he’s mowed the grass two or three times with the new, bigger and better mower, and he really seems to really like it.

Recently, after exploring all options, Ed decided to replace his “He Shed” with a pre-built “Handi House”.  The house was delivered yesterday, and Ed’s already beginning to make it his own.   I guess we’ll call it “Ed’s Handy House”.

They say, “all’s well that ends well.”  Thankfully, nobody was hurt in our fire, it didn’t spread far, and the shed was insured–although filing an insurance claim could cause a person to have a ‘stress induced’ heart attack!   Ed’s still in the process of replacing items and filing, but life is slowly getting back to normal.  Normal is good!


Published in: on July 19, 2019 at 12:43 pm  Comments (2)  
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Cutting Trees, Burning Fields, And A Smoking Hound…

As usual, the weekend went by way too fast, but it was fun while it lasted!  The weather here was sunny and cool–which meant it was perfect for outside activities, and my family had plenty of those going on.

When my husband announced, on Friday, that he planned to cut down a few more trees around the farm, I took that as my cue to leave town and go shopping on Saturday!  I can never relax whenever Ed is in “tree cutting mode”!  You may remember a couple of weeks ago when two trees fell across our neighbor’s fence and smashed it…and then there was once the incident concerning the pine tree falling across my rabbit hutch…Anyway, my daughter, granddaughter, and I went shopping, on Saturday morning,  while our men folks stayed home to work around the farm!

It turned out that the other two females who live on the family farm also went shopping on Saturday.  Perhaps they knew Ed was going to be working, too!  For a few hours, there wasn’t a female on the entire place!  Heaven help us!  The men had the place all to themselves!

Thankfully, the tree cutting proceeded without incident, and hopefully, that task is about finished for a while!  The second task on Ed’s agenda was burning off the field in front of our house, and I wasn’t too thrilled about that thought either!   You may remember my story, from a few years back, about that same field accidentally catching fire and nearly burning us out of house and home!  Our neighbor farmer was harvesting his rye out of our field, when the field accidentally caught on fire while he was in the middle of it!  The fire department came,,  as well as scores of friends and neighbors, to help fight the fire and get it under control before it reached our house and the woods around us.  It was a very close call.

Anyway, Ed’s been wanting to burn off his section of the field for a while now, but the conditions were never suitable on the weekends.  Finally, Saturday seemed like the perfect time to light the match!  Imagine everyone’s surprise when the fire was lit, and the field refused to stay burning!  (Especially knowing how fast it has ignited in the past)  Despite repeated tries, the fire would only burn in “spots” and not straight across the field as it should have.  I guess there’s a big difference in burning dried rye and burning dried weeds!  I don’t think we are in any danger from those weeds igniting.

Speaking of burning, while everyone was trying to get that stupid field to burn, late Saturday afternoon,  our two dogs were trampling around in the dried, smoking brush along with us.  At one point, Ethan, our old hound dog, came out of the field panting smoke.  At first, we thought his breath was fogging due to the cool evening air, but then I realized the smoke he was panting was blue!   Apparently, he swallowed something while it was still smoking!   I quickly called him aside and gave him some water in a bowl.  He drank half of a large bowl of water before he paused.  Afterward, he stopped smoking, and seemed fine.  Crazy hound dog…

One thing for sure around here–there is rarely a dull moment.  Falling trees, burning/ non-burning fields, smoking dogs…it just keeps me wondering what in the world will happen next.

Published in: on January 30, 2012 at 1:20 am  Comments (6)  
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Fire! A Very Close Call…




image courtesy of

One other time in our  lives, my husband and I had a close call with fire. 

  You can read about that time at this link  I apologize for the length of the link, but I haven’t learned the shortcut yet!

Our second “close call” came in June of 2007.  The weather had been extremely dry.  There had been forest fires all around our state. 

There is a large field in front of our old and our new houses.  At the time we were still living in our old house, but were building our new house.  We were probably a little over half-way finished with the new house.  The field in front of both houses was planted in something that looks like wheat, I’m not sure what, but it was dry and ready for  harvesting.  

When  field is harvested, the farmer usually burns off the remaining stalks before replanting the field.  When the stalks are set on fire–they burn quickly and make a hot fire.  Ed’s mother was worried about the farmer (who leases that field from her) setting that field on fire.  She was worried that he would set a fire and it would get out of control.  Everyone in the whole family lives in one location or another surrounding that field.  We assured her that the farmer was too smart to do such a thing. 

On this particular Friday toward the end of June, I had gotten off work early so I could babysit my granddaughter, Madison for the weekend.  Brandy’s husband was going to be in his brother’s wedding, so she and Clint were planning to spend the night in the city due to wedding festivities.  Brandy and Clint had already left for the city, and Madison and I were taking a nap together. 

A couple of hours later, my husband woke me up with excitement in his voice.  He was saying something about “the field being on fire and everything was about to burn up!”  I jumped up from the bed, and ran to the front porch.  What I saw stopped me dead in my tracks!  The entire field  was on fire and it was very close to our yard and both of our houses!  There were two large tractors with large sets of harrows going around and around that field–attempting to control the fire.  The fire was huge and seemed to sucking air into itself. 

About that time a couple of firetrucks arrived and began dousing the flames.  Several carloads of people had stopped along the highway that runs close by,  and were battling the flames with shovels and rakes.  Ed got the water hose out on our end of the field.  Those tractors continued to harrow around and around that field at full speed.(I didn’t know tractors could move that fast!)  One of the tractors actually caught on fire!  It took a few minutes, but finally the fire was out!  I think everyone here that day aged ten years during those few minutes. 

We later found out what had happened.  The farmer was in the field combining the crop.  Someone drove out into the field to speak to him for a moment.  In the moment that they were stopped in the field talking, the catalytic converter on the vehicle was so hot that it set the field on fire underneath the vehicle.  As soon as the men realized what had happened, they sprang into action!  Quick thinking, helpful people, and the grace of God is what saved our homes that day. 

The fire came so close to both of our homes, and Ed’s brother’s home, that it scorched many of our trees and bushes.  That’s just a little too close for comfort.  A loose spark or a burst of wind and we all could have lost our homes–and the woods all around them.

Of course, someone riding by on the highway saw the fire and called Brandy and Clint on their cell phone–right in the middle of the wedding festivities!  Brandy called us–all in a panic about their house, but luckily for them, the fire was traveling away from their home and never even came close to their yard.  It’s amazing how fast news travels. 

I hope that’s the closest that I ever come to a fire of that size.  I shudder every time I think about baby Madison and me being fast asleep while the world outside our door was on fire!  That was just a little bit too close for comfort. 

Published in: on January 14, 2010 at 11:01 am  Comments (3)