BEANERY ONLINE LITERARY MAGAZINE
A TIME FOR FURNACE FIRES:
CHRISTMAS AND THE START OF WINTER WEATHER
Intro by Carolyn Cornell H olland
The following post provides a warning to every family at the beginning of the cold winter weather and the start of the heating season.
It is also a warning to all who decorate their homes for the holidays.
It’s 4:30 a. m.
After just a brief night’s sleep your two youngest children ages one and two, waken you from a deep sleep. For no particular reason that you can discern.
You feel somewhat irritated—after all, it’s the Christmas season. The double holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas have overwhelmed you. Money is short. Time is tight. There’s a long task list.
Your feelings of resentment over losing your sleep escalate…your stress level rises as the youngsters show no signs of abating their activities.
They can sleep in once they return to bed. You can’t. You have to work.
What’s a parent to do?
These might have been Nick’s thoughts when his two youngest children, ages one- and two-years-old, woke him in the wee hours of the morning. His wife and five-year-old son remained sleeping.
Perhaps to soothe his escalating irritation, Nick stepped outside his family home in a small Missouri town to smoke a cigarette in the wee hours of the December 6, 2011, morning.
The holidays bring out the best in most of us.
What wonderful social gatherings, food flavors we never before tried, people we meet for the first time, gifts we give, gifts we receive. It’s a joyful time when you can almost believe in peace on earth.
But there is a downside, a downside that is often preventable but that sometimes just happens.
Fire. Tree fires, house fires, kitchen fires.
Suddenly there was an explosion. Nick ran into the house to find that the explosion had wakened his wife Kelsie.
What was that? she asked.
I don’t know but it shot out of the house! Nick responded.
Seeing smoke and flames coming from their back room, Nick and Kelsie grabbed the three boys and ran to their car. They made it in the nick of time.
If Nick was resentful and irritated that his two youngest children had awakened him in the middle of the night, the feeling soon disappeared. He began expressing gratitude about his early morning awakefulness and alertness.
It allowed him to save his family from a sudden fire.
Christmastime fires are almost always caused by forgetting to water the tree, by overloading a circuit with too many strings of lights, or by plugging the lights into faulty wiring, which can cause a quick fire.
Christmastime is also the start of the cold weather that winter brings. House fires often start with a faulty furnace.
My family had a rude awakening of this fact when, at six o’clock in the morning on December 6th my nephews Missouri home exploded, blowing out all the windows. He grabbed two of his sons, his wife grabbed the baby and they ran outside just before two more explosions occurred. The explosions, resulting in a fire that reduced the family home to ashes, appeared to be caused by a leak in the furnace. It allowed gas to surround the furnace. When the furnace kicked on it exploded.
They lost everything, then again they lost nothing since their family is unhurt and “things” are replaceable, people are not.
“It sounded like someone had threw a grenade in the house, and it blew everything out the window and everything, and I went running back into the house, and the wife was already up off the couch like, what was that? I go, I don’t know but it shot out of the house!” Nick says.
Nick and Kelsie then saw the smoke and flames coming from the back room and got the three boys out and into the car with little time to spare. “I didn’t even have time to go in and get my mom’s urn or nothing,” Nick says. His mother died just four months ago.
“I’d say my mom was on our side by having our two kids be up, because I’m a hard sleeper, and if I got woke up by that, the reaction time would have been a lot slower than what it was,” Nick says.*
They lost everything, then again they lost nothing. Their family is unhurt. “Things” are replaceable, people are not.
The family has received emergency assistance from local agencies
They had no insurance on the home. If you’d like to make a donation, Nick King can be reached at (417)259-4716.
Their boys wear sizes 5T, 2T and 24 months.*