My Series of Unfortunate Events

Lexi Crebb

Staff Writer

On Monday, April 4th, I came home from lunch with my great-aunt and great-uncle to find my home filled with smoke. I could hear the smoke alarm blaring from outside. I had to go through my garage because my door was locked and when the door opened I could smell the smoke and see the thin clouds streaming through the door to my kitchen.

I was assaulted by dark clouds of noxious smoke as I opened the door. I dropped my purse, grabbed the phone and walked out of the back door and called 911. I couldn’t see nor hear a fire crackling and no orange blaze could be seen from the outside. I began to panic and the first thing that came to mind was, “Where are my pets? Are they alive?”

As soon as I got off the phone, I covered my mouth and nose with my gloved hand and ran in calling for my dog. My throat felt like it was on fire and my eyes stung painfully. I couldn’t take the smoke and opened my front door. As soon as I ran out, my dog, Crystal, crawled out the door with me. Her white coat was dirty and black and her eyes dripped with water. I thought she was hiding in the bathroom across from the washer and dryer closet. I was overjoyed to see her come outside but I soon broke down and cried harder than I ever had before in my life. I screamed to God, begging for my cats to be okay.

I tried to go in again to look for Misty and Tyr, even trekking up the stairs, but the smoke was so dense it made the whole house look black in color and I could barely breathe. After walking back outside, I hugged a very anxious Crystal and bawled my eyes out and then the firefighters arrived. I could see 4 or 5 trucks and a police car drive down my street.

My neighbor, Anne, was mowing her lawn and came over to check what was going on. The firemen did their jobs and Anne practically carried me to her house across the street. I couldn’t stop crying and worrying that whatever happened to my house took my cats from me. Anne was nice enough to wrap me in a blanket, sit me down, and give me water for my burning throat.

Across the way, I could see the firemen pull my dryer out the front door. It was nearly pure black and burning profusely. That was the source of the smoke, and it was directly across from where my dog may have been hiding. An ambulance was called to take me to the hospital and the firemen searched the house for my cats. More and more of my neighbors came to see what all of the commotion was about. I wasn’t honestly fine and only felt a little sick from the smoke, but boy was I scared beyond belief. I chose to be taken to Parkview on Dupont, where my mom works.

I was given oxygen and more water from the paramedics. Luckily, just before we left, the firemen told me my cats were alive and hiding under my parents’ bed, the furthest place from the smoke’s origin. I couldn’t stop shaking for the longest time. When we arrived at the hospital, my mom met up with me and helped comfort me.

Everyone who was there that day could tell you that I wasn’t scared for my house, my belongings, or myself. I was scared for my pet’s’ safety and their lives. I was dressed in a gown at the hospital, given more oxygen, checked on my blood pressure and tested for carbon monoxide poisoning (I still have remnants of a large bruise from where they drew my blood). After more than five hours, we went home, had Culver’s for dinner, and gave my dog a bath. It was probably the worst day of my life.

For the next two days, my family struggled against the stench of smoke, the thin layers of soot covering every inch of everything, and support from the insurance company. The worst thing that plagued us was Crystal. She was so sick, unable to eat, move, drink water, or beg for table scraps.

The Wednesday morning before we left for Florida, we decided to put my dog down at an animal clinic. That had to have been the first time I’d ever seen my dad cry. We were going to stay when they put her to sleep, but we decided not to see her go like that. My mom stayed though, to be sure she had someone before she died. It still hurts. I’m getting really choked up just writing this.

Never forget that everything normal in your life can change drastically with just the flick of a switch and those you love may just leave down that path. Value what you have, family, pets, home, everything you care about. Thank you for reading.

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