I smell smoke….

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Burning Down the House.”

I have never been in a house fire and I hope I never will. But I have stood and watched a house burn. Last year the local farm house burnt down. It is was our closest neighbour, but it went up like a bunch of dry wood.

I ought to say that it was empty at the time. The residence having built themselves a bungalow. So the house was really just used as a storage. It had a couple of antiques in there: a beautiful orange vase, a silver-point sketch, a rocking horse, and a large semi-circular cabinet. Not to mention the history.

That farm had been in the same family for hundreds of years and as it burnt I mourned its loss.

It got me thinking though. We have always had an escape route. I’ve always known where to go. What direction to run in…

I think this is odd, but my parents have always taken us through ‘The Plan’ in case of emergencies like a fire or crazed burglars.

I don’t think this is normal, but you know what? It makes me feel safe. Our fire alarms were updated by the fire brigade and we ran through the ‘way out’.

But I know what I’d grab if there was a fire in the house… Nothing. Because I would have maybe five minutes before my lungs would become strained from the smoke. Then the coughing would start and then I would be fighting to get enough oxygen. Instead, I would crack the window that is designed to be an escape hatch and slide down the kitchen roof and lower myself to the ground. Then I would open the doors and try to find my parents. But they have their own window, luckily on the ground floor. But as long as my family and the animals were out I wouldn’t grab anything else. I can replace the rest.

The picture below is after just five minutes of visible smoke… Don’t stop for anything – just run!

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