Every year, the Huntsville Botanical Gardens has a scarecrow exhibit. The scarecrows are created by various companies, non-profit organizations, and individuals. Each one is unique, which makes the exhibit fun and entertaining.
In 1987, on Halloween, our house was destroyed by a fire.
I was 14 years old at the time. My brother and I spent the day, just like every other day. We goofed around and played games. We talked about what we were going to do that night. It was Halloween, so we had plans for some fun activities.
We just moved into the house a week prior and nobody knew about the electrical problems in the attic. That afternoon, two hot wires touched and set off a spark. That spark turned into a fire. Since there were no smoke detectors in the attic, the fire went unnoticed by me and my family.
The neighbor saw smoke and flames coming from the roof, so he ran over to our house and was frantically banging on the door. He was yelling for us to get out of the house, because it was on fire.
All of us ran out as quickly as possible. The fire department was called and they responded in a matter of minutes. My brother and I sat in the front yard and watched as the firefighters battled the blaze.
I remember feeling like it was a dream. I wasn’t upset about the situation at that time, so I guess I was just in a state of shock.
The fire destroyed most of the house. The roof over the living room and dining room area had caved in and there was a good bit of water damage to areas that were still standing.
We stayed with relatives for a few days and then moved into a rental house. Luckily, my parents had purchased homeowners insurance, so the house was rebuilt and a couple months later we were able to move back into our home.
I always think about that fire on Halloween. I think about how lucky we were, since nobody was hurt. I think about how it felt to watch our home being destroyed by a fire and not being able to do anything about it. I think about the firefighters that battled the blaze. I think about the people that helped us salvage some of our belongings, allowed us to use their garage to store those items, gave us a place to sleep until we could move into the retail home, and even cooked a meal for us to eat that night.
A lot of people helped us during that time. Some of them were friends and family, but some of those people were strangers. I appreciate what everyone did for us. It meant a lot to me and my family.