Saturday, July 9, 2011

Week 2: Lightning Storm = A CRAZY morning!

Friday night, St. George got a huge lightning storm. Well, it was huge to us because we never get them like this! I was standing out on our balcony snapping these pictures  . . .

. . . when Shaun told me I should probably head inside. I argued with him and he teased that his wife was a storm chaser. So I reluctantly came inside and we started some games. A little while later I wanted to go back out front and check out the action again. I went to open the front door and it blew open so hard that it took three of us to close it. I decided that I would watch it from inside for the rest of the night.

About 30 minutes later, lightning struck our building. The whole building jolted and we could see sparks flying off our back deck. The power went out and the phone line was also out. We called the front desk from a cell phone and they walked us through where the circuit box was and how to flip the breaker. We were a little freaked out but we all went to bed.

I woke up around 4 am and smelled something weird. I thought it was the popcorn that we had burnt the night before when we were playing games. So I went back to sleep. When I woke up around 7 am I could smell it again, and it was a lot worse. I texted my mom and told her to come in our room because it smelled weird. She had also smelled it during the night, and agreed that it was much stronger in the morning. As I walked down the hall in our condo, I could smell it even worse. I opened the door to the laundry area, and almost fell backward it smelled so bad. It was definitely not the burnt popcorn, so we called the front desk right away. With in minutes, around 7:30 am, someone was knocking on our door telling us that we needed to evacuate the building and the fire department was on their way.

Well, one small problem. Shaun was in the shower. I went and knocked on his door and told him he needed to take the fastest shower of his life because there was a fire!

A fire truck arrived, hooked up the hose to the hydrant and sent fire fighters up the three flights of stairs to the condo directly above ours. Then two more trucks came. All the while, Shaun is still in our condo. The firemen start spraying and we can see smoke billowing out of the roof. Where the crap is Shaun? He comes strutting out a few minutes after! He almost killed me!

We were evacuated for 3 hours. After the second hour we decided to call my Aunt Sue to come and pick my mom, the kids, and me up. The fire trucks were parked right behind our van so we couldn't even get in there to get out the carseats. We rode to my Grandma's where the kids got to play for a while. Shaun finally called me around 11:30 am and said the fire department was letting people back in.

We weren't sure what we were going to find when we got back in there. Our condo was directly below where the fire was and they had sprayed water up in there for about 2 hours!

Luckily, water leaked through the ceiling of our condo in pretty much every place, except where our stuff was. All of our swim suits and towels that were laying out drying got smoke damage, but the rest of our stuff that was packed away in suitcases didn't smell.

One of the firemen was talking to Shaun and told him that lightning struck one of the little pipes sticking out of the roof last night. The unit above us was running their dryer and the lighning was attracted to the static electricity being put off by the dryer. It caught the tressels and insulation in the roof on fire. They smoldered all night and that was what was causing the burning smell. The people in that condo left in the middle of the night because they couldn't sleep and they never alerted anyone.

All in all, there were 6 fire trucks, 4 police cars, 1 ambulance, and several other fire vehicles. It was quite the scene that morning!

That is the 3rd story unit where the fire was.

Here is the truck attached to the hydrant. Shaun was still in our room at this point.

Gage was taking this whole thing in. He kept making a siren noise and totally loved every minute of it.

This is the view from the back. Our condo is the second unit, and the fire was in the unit with all of the furniture on the patio.

It sure was a scary morning, but we are glad everything turned out ok!


that's what she said...

WHOA! That's pretty scary! Good thing you were on top of it and let them know about the smell or it could've been a lot worse.

Jenny said...

How scary for you all! I'm glad no one was hurt.

And the pictures of the lightning are incredible!