Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Thing You'd Save During A Fire



The subject of what one would save from a burning house has been recurring discussion among my friends. Several of my friends on Yahoo! Groups have either been the victims of house fires this year or have had relatives who've lost everything to a house fire.

I also saw the movie Leap Year (I didn't think it was very good) in which the heroine notes that when her fiance believes their apartment is on fire, he goes to rescue his laptop without a thought for her, versus the other guy who rushes for a claddagh ring that belonged to his grandmother. He later proposes to her using the same ring.

Assuming all the living creatures in your house were safe from harm and you could only carry one thing, what would you grab?

For me, that answer is easy: an antique music box that my parents

bought when I was very young. I used to dance to it all the time and now my daughter does the same. The little birds hit the bells and the sound is fairy-like and magical. I've posted a link to a similar box so you can listen to the sound.

What about you? What would you save?


17 comments:

Laura K. Curtis said...

Assuming everyone was safe? The practical answer, of course, is the computer. But I wouldn't do that. I'd save the needlepoint screen my grandmother made. I have a needlepoint rug my mother made, too, so it would be a tough call, but my mother made many things and I could probably cadge another from her if necessary.

Dru said...

This is hard, but I would save my quilts because they can never be replaced.

Dru said...

that would be the quilts that I hand-made.

Sheila Connolly said...

Painful question, isn't it? For some reason I've always had a vision of stuffing the cats into a pillowcase (yeah, like that will work!). And then? Most people say photographs, and at least the oldest family pictures are all in one place. Jewelry? Not so much that's valuable, but definitely sentimental--and easy to carry.

I once attended a lecture given by a firefighter, who said that once the fire alarm has gone off, you have two minutes to get out of the house. Not much time, is it? It would take more than that to find the cats.

Janet said...

When we had our house fire in 2005, I grabbed one cat, and my purse and kept going. I didn't even look for a coat. It was February 23rd and it was freezing in CT. My dad was a firefighter, and he always said, if you don't see it on the way out the door, you don't need it.

The most important thing I learned from this fire:

IT'S JUST STUFF.

ev said...

Anything important I have in a fireproof lock box. All the papers,passports and most importantly and irreplaceable, my adoption papers with my original b'cert which is no longer available. I also keep the antique jewelry in it along with my good stuff. I know where it all is.

Anything else, as long as my zoo is safe, is replaceable.

Fire is the biggest worry in my life- it scares the crap out of me. There is an extension ladder on the roof out the second floor window for escape.

We have 3 dogs and 3 cats and it scares me that I would lose one of my babies.

Kristine said...

My hubby would be grabbing our removable drive with all the pictures on it. Me? Hmmm... I would honestly probably be too shooken up to care as long as my kids were okay. There are a couple of things throughout my home I would try to save if we were evacuating b/c of a storm... but a fire? I would never think fast enough to pick just one.

Heather Webber said...

This is a tough one. I suppose if I had time, my purse, the bank info, the kids' baby books, photos. If I had a lot of time, the Christmas ornaments.

I hate even thinking about it!

Laineshots said...

I save all my photos through an online service, so my one item is easy: a handwritten book of family recipes my recently-discovered biological brother made for me. My birth mother, grandmother, and aunts are all gone now, so this book is my connection to the women who share my blood, and a labor of love, too.

Linda Leszczuk said...

I assume the family dog is a given. Beyond that - maybe my parent's wedding picture. No point going after the photo albums, there are too many. And everything, as Janet said above, is just stuff.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Rats! Misplaced apostrophe in parents'. Don't you hate it when you see a typo right after you hit Publish?

Carol said...

I've thought about this off and on over the years, and again since last month when one of my best friends since high school lost her home and everything in it to fire. Since we're saying all living creatures are safe, I don't have to worry about my 90-year-old parents and our two dogs.
It's still a tough decision: If there were some way to box up all the teddy bears my mother has made for my birthday and Christmas since she retired and learned to make them until the time several years ago when arthritis forced her to quit, it would be them. Obviously, those can't be replaced. But, if I locked them in a fireproof box (which presumably wouldn't have to be removed because it would survive intact), I wouldn't be able to see them on a daily basis.....so that's not too practical. I think the one thing that I realistically COULD save and would want to, is the King James Version (original KJV)Bible that my parents gave me on my 9th birthday. It has a white zipper cover with my name in gold on it. I really need to clean that cover, and I'm afraid to unzip it because I'm afraid it will break. I suppose I should upzip it and put the whole thing in a Bible cover that I could buy; then I could still use it instead of another one that I use. But I think that is the one sentimental item that I could reasonably expect to be able to grab, and I always know where it is.

Mare F said...

There is nothing in my house that I couldn't replace with a little adventuring and since we made certain that we are well insured I would push Doug, give him the cat who sleeps on our bed, grab the cat who sleeps on the couch on my way to the door where I would grab my parrot. That said, I'm done.

Aurian said...

Well, I would want to save my books, but I would need a truck to do that. I can't unplug my computer in only two minutes, so that is out too. I don't know, just grab my purse and my coat and run I guess. My wallet and pasport are always in my purse, and when opening the door I have my keys. So what more do I need? My collection of Nene Thomas Faery statues is unreplacable, but I also cannot carry them all. The rest in my house is just stuff.
My phone perhaps?

jbstanley said...

I guess we could all avoid the computer issues by having virtual back-ups. I pay $80/year for a subscription that updates files from my computer each day. Every document and family photo is safe.

Sorry for posting a potentially stressful question! I think it reflects the kind of week I've been having!

signlady217 said...

Wow! Tough one! I guess just my purse because it is close to the bed, even though the thought of losing photos and some of my gramdmothers' things makes me crazy! Most of them are nowhere near the paths of egress, so I'd just be out of luck!

Caitlyn said...

My biggest fear is not being home when a fire starts. Then what happens to my fur babies, we do have a sign on the door alerting the fire department. All the important paperwork is in a fire safe, computer data on flash drives, photos scanned and or digitally stored. I would grab my purse as it would cover immediate necessities, such as id and financial. Sentimental item would have to be my Cook the Books autographed by Jessica Park and Charlaine Harris.