Monday, February 25, 2008


Our neighbors’ house burned down this morning.

The sirens woke me up just after 6:00 this morning. At first I was a little annoyed because today is my day off and I stayed up late last night because I knew I could sleep later today. The kids were already up getting ready for school. I looked out the front window and saw the fire truck across the street. I wondered why it was there. An ambulance pulled up so I thought maybe someone had a heart attack or an accident or something.

We turned on the local news on TV to check the weather and they reported a “massive house fire on Emmons Street in Caledonia.” I began looking out all the west side windows but couldn’t really see anything. The TV newsperson said they were sending a crew to Caledonia so I thought maybe I should go see what was going on. I threw on my clothes and walked up the street.

It was five houses up. A beautiful Victorian that the owners have been fixing up for a couple of years. It’s been on the market off and on for a long time but with the depressed housing market in Michigan it hasn’t moved. When I got there it was still very dark but the flames were leaping out the eaves from the attic. It wouldn’t be long before the roof was engulfed.

We don’t have hydrants on Emmons Street. They just put new water down Main Street, one block to the south. New hydrants all along there. Strangely, the hoses from Main were all flat as could be. No water there. Turns out the new hydrants were frozen up. More and more tankers/pumpers began pulling onto our street. They were coming from all the towns around us. Obviously they were having trouble getting enough water on the fire. The two people who live there were standing on the street talking to the police. Their dog didn’t get out. They were able to save nothing.

I stood on the sidewalk with my neighbors watching as the roof finally collapsed in on the house. It was rather quiet. As the sun began to rise it was apparent that all was lost.

All kinds of thoughts go through my head at times like this. It’s not my house but it could have been. Only by God’s grace was it not my house. How quickly things can be gone! How attached am I to things that will burn in a second? Why do we play the game, “What would you save if….?” Why do we invest so much time and money into stuff and so little into people? How would I be acting if this was my house? Do I really believe that this world is not my home and that my home is not my world?

Our neighbors’ house burned down this morning.


At 11:00 PM, Blogger YMedad said...

Just to say hello from someone, Jewish, who lives in the original Shiloh, 28 miles north of Jerusalem.

At 2:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you please pray for this family?


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