It was a cold Sunday morning when I was awoke by an ear piercing scream from my best friend, Ashten, screaming my name, and my oldest son yelling as loud as he could on my front porch by my window. With fear rushing throughout my whole body, I jumped out of bed to the words I never thought I would hear from anyone.
“The house is on fire.” These words still pierce through my ears as I run out of my room, down my short hallway into my living room.
The smoke smell was instant as soon as you hit the stair case. Looking up the stairs you could see the grayish black smoke as it came rolling across the door opening and across the celling of the hall way at the top of my stairs. It was slowing starting to roll down the stair case which was one of the scary sights for so far. Freaking out and scared, I made sure my kids where safe outside then I went back to my room to grab my phone and shoes. I join my kids and Ashten outside to wait on my husband to come. He tried so hard to get up the stairs to put the fire out but the smoke was too much for him to handle, so I called 911, still scared and shaking.
“911 dispatch how may, I help you?” the 911 dispatch asked.
“The top story of my house is on fire” I told the man.
“What is the address of your location,” 911 dispatched asked.
“1002 Hot Shot Dr., Clarksville, 37042,” I said still freaking out and shaking as I start to see smoke coming out of the sides of my house.
“Okay, ma’am they are on the way, please clear everyone away from the house,” was the last thing the dispatched said to me before he hung up.
After I hung up with 911, I called my husband’s friend, Kyle, so that he come and be of some help.
“Hey, what’s up?” Kyle asked as he always did when I called.
“I need you at the house now, my house is on fire,” I told him.
“Wait what happen? I will be right there,” he said as he hung up the phone.
As I hung up the phone I turned to see Ashten and my kids were next door standing in the yard while my husband and I were still standing in front of the house watching in fear. The next thing I did was move my car away from the house to next door. About the time I got it parked the police where pulling up. The sound of the sirens coming down the road brought people out from around us to see what was going on. To keep my kids from seeing all the commotion, I put them in the car with the heat on to keep them warm, all though it really didn’t help any because they kept turning around to look out the back and side windows. Just then I heard the worst sound ever, as I seen the fire trucks coming down my street to try and rescue my house.
The fire men started to pull up one by one, some in the fire trucks, and others were in their own trucks and cars. I watched as they tried to hurry and get dressed which was quite funny because the fire men were rushing so much that one or two of them fell. One guy finally got his gear on and tried to run in the house full force and was almost knocked out when he hit my front door from all the smoke. The police told him to go back and get oxygen tanks and mask or the fire men would be no use. By that time the smoke was rolling out the side of the top floor as well as my front door. Finally all the fire men were ready with all their gear, so three men and with hose proceeded into my front door and up my stairs.
As the fire men worked hard to do what they could do, the heat seemed to be too much for some because there where passing out in my front yard. I watched from the side lines as they did the best they could do. I watched as my husband called people in our family, one right after another telling them what had happen.
“I don’t know how I am going to be able to call my mom,” my husband said in a shaky voice.
“I don’t either but I am right here if you need me to talk to her,” I told him as he picked up the phone to dial her number.
“This is the worst phone call I have ever had to make to her,” he said with fear in his eyes.
You could tell that he was worried as he made the phone call to his mom and told her the horrible news of what was happening to our house. As he made the call I turned to check on my kids to make sure they were okay. I then got in the car myself because I was cold from standing outside this long with a jacket. Just as I went to sit down, the lady that lived two doors up came and asked if it was okay for the kids to go to her house so they didn’t have to see any of this. The boys were over joyed to go, and just as she turned to head back to her house, she handed me her jacket and told me to bring the jacket back when I was done. At that moment I knew that there were still people that truly cared. I kissed my kids bye and told them everything would be okay.
I stood by in my neighbor’s yard as the fire men rushed in and out of my house in groups of three trying to get the fire under control. It seemed like all their efforts where not working. I watched as one truck would leave and comeback to fill up a pool with water, the roar of the trucks was loud and seemed to take away from my thoughts when I watched the water as it came rushing out. As I watched the fire men and the water, I noticed my husband talking to the foremen because he pointing over at me whiles talking to him about something, but I could not read his lips. At about that time a lady walked up to me asking me questions to fast, but she was just trying to get a statement about what had happen.
“Mrs. Horne, can you tell me how this happen?” the lady asked me.
“Yes, it started in my kid’s room because my 5-year-old found a light and tried to burn off the tag on his mattress,” I told the lady as calmly as I could at that point.
“How many people where in the house as well as pets?” she asked next.
“There are five of us that live in the house my husband, my two boys, my friend, and me. We have three dogs, two of which are outside and one inside that is safe in my car right now,” I answered.
“Thank you Mrs. Horne, I think that is all need for now. If I have any more questions for you I will come find you. By the way I am very sorry the lost your family is undergoing right now, I know this must be hard,” she said as she turned and walked back to the foreman to tell him everything I had said.
Family and friends had gathered by our sides to do whatever they could do to help. Among the ones that showed up was Kyle, just as he had promised on the phone. Some of the others that showed up were my brother-in-law and his wife, Ashten’s parents and little sister, and my husband main boss came ready to work. Once he seen there was not much he was going to be able to do, he handed my husband some money and left. It was almost like he had disappeared he left so quickly.
I talked to so many different people about what had happen that morning because everyone was walking up that lived around my house just to see what was going on. After about two hours it may have been more the foremen finally said it was under control, but just as he said those words standing on the far left side of my house, the fire came busting through the right side of my house where I was standing.
“You got what under control,” I yelled at the foremen.
“The fire is under control now,” he yelled back.
“Well, if it is under control why I am looking at the fire on this side busting through to the outside,” I yelled back.
The foremen came running over and got his radio saying stuff so fast that I could not make out anything that he was saying. At this point I knew in my heart my house was gone and there was going to be little of nothing left in the upstairs. All my kid’s stuff was gone; they had no clothes and no shoes, nothing at all because it was all gone. All that had happen set in at that very moment.
After the fire was finally put out and the firemen started to bring a few things out of the house, I couldn’t help but to break down in tears at the sight my kid’s pictures that hung on the wall going up the stairs, lying in the fire men’s hand as he handed them to my brother-in-law. One by one the fire men brought out things we might be able to save. Pictures, the TV from the living room, movies, other little odds and end things, and lastly they brought out my grandmother’s china and crystal that had been in the family for over 100 years. As they brought it I hit the ground crying, it was the one thing I had forgotten was in the house, and there it sat in my front yard.
The fire men did their job and packed everything up to leave, after 3 and half hours the fire was finally out and everyone was clearing the area. My husband and I asked if it was okay if we went in to see the damage and we got the okay. As I stepped on the porch my stomached knotted up and I felt sick. My husband turned and told me not to come in the house because the smell was too much for me to handle. I backed up and went to Ashten and started to cry. My life and everything that my husband and I had worked so hard for was gone. It was truly gone and it left me feeling numb. I didn’t know what to say or how to feel. From all the help and all the donations we have made the best out of the worsted and are trying to move on and start new. I can truly say that January 19, 2014, will be day I will never forget because it was the day my nightmare came true and the day my life went up in smoke.