1.13.2009

A Warning

We had an interesting morning. As I was getting ready to head to the shower, my son asked if I'd grab another box of cereal. They're stored in a cupboard in the garage, so I popped out and got one for him. When I stepped into the garage (from our dining room), it smelled like something was burning. Actually, more of a smoldering odor. Like paper, wood, or cardboard. It was a very strong scent. I checked around the garage and found areas where it wasn't as strong, watched for smoke or flames and saw nothing, and ultimately called 911.

Hubby came home and the fire department came - two trucks even (hold your breath - I didn't get any photos). We had a half dozen fire fighters checking out every nook and cranny in the garage, as well as outside, the patio, and the attached shed. They brought out the heat-sensitive testing equipment and other things. The weird thing is that they could find nothing. No heat anywhere. No smoke. No fire. But they sure smelled the odor.

The only item of concern is the Griswold electrical plan in the garage - extension cords strung along to a variety of components; garage door opener, outside light, fluorescent lights, incandescent lights, etc. It's one of those things we knew should be addressed, but hadn't done anything about. One of the fluorescent fixtures seemed to be going out, but the odor was definitely not electrical or ballast.

So as much as they were a bit unsettled at not finding a source, they had to pack it in and leave. Not before installing a smoke detector in the garage and one in our family room, cause we still needed one more. (Side note: I didn't know the fire department would give you free smoke detectors - we've purchased our others.) So we're to stay here and monitor things for the next 24 hours. These guys were awesome, btw. They're practically a stone's throw from our house, so they showed up quickly. They checked every possibility. They were friendly and kind. Our kudos to these hard-working guys.

On a good note, we have a fire extinguisher just inside the garage door. Had we spotted any small flames (before the arrival of our neighborhood fire fighters), we'd have had that available to use.

After they left and the four of us were hanging out discussing things, I pondered that maybe it was a warning from God. Maybe He was getting us to deal with the electrical Griswoldness in the garage because something bad might have happened. There's been no more odor since then. It wasn't anywhere else in the house or outside - just in the garage.

We're not taking this warning lightly. Hubby called an electrician friend before heading back to work. He'll be out in the morning.


8 comments:

carrie said...

wow. that is disturbing. glad you had some nice service men. I would've never thought to call them oddly enough. Now I will.

Dawn @ My Home Sweet Home said...

Whoa! That's freaky. Glad you played it safe and called the fire department. The breaker has started tripping in our girls' room upstairs. We've narrowed it down to having something to do with their overhead lights, probably wiring. We've been using lamps until we can figure it out.

You've made me realize I don't have a clue where our fire extinguisher is...

Betsy said...

Praise the Lord that you are prepared!

Amber @ ClassicHousewife said...

I don't know if I'd have thought to call the fire department either. I'd have called hubs who'd have said everything was probably fine - to which I'd have replied "ok, well, if it all burns down it's your call." We'd have gone on with the rest of our day. We're disfunctional that way. :P

I'm so glad everything checked out ok! AND glad they gave you the extra smoke detectors - TOO COOL!

Suzanne said...

No photos? That's my favorite part of the fire drills at work...watching the firemen jump off their truck.

I am glad there were no problems found and it was good to take it as a warning.

Count it all joy,
Sz

MrsD/Jacque said...

So glad nothing went wrong, and perhaps it WAS a warning. :)
We have the same warning, it's called MY inner feeling that Matt needs to call a chimney sweep. I am giving him a few more days to remember, then I am asking him if he'd like me to go ahead and do it. Scar-y.
;)

Nikowa@KHA said...

WOW, hope it's nothing.

cindy said...

How unsettling! I'm glad it turned out to be nothing, and pray it stays that way!

Happy New Year!

Peace,
Cindy.

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