35 years ago I came as close to a house fire as I ever want to be. Where I grew up, if you heard a siren, you ran out to see which direction it was heading. They were very uncommon. (for which I am glad)
One Saturday afternoon, we were watching TV, and we heard a siren coming down the road. We sprang out the door to see where it was heading. One look told us where it was heading, across the street to Lyle and Carol's house (they are the fighters of last week's Flashback Friday). Smoke was pouring out of the top of the house, although no flames were visible.
Lyle was at work, and Carol was up the road at her mom's house. She didn't always take the kids with her. Most of the time she would leave the oldest (an eight year old girl named Kendra) to watch the three younger kids (Kyle age six, Marie age five and Holly age three). She would take the new baby, Keith, (she had a baby since last week's episode) up the street to have coffee and quiet with her mom and sister, Nelly.
Carol came running down the street as fast as she could. She scanned the growing crowd quickly for her kids. She spotted them all but the youngest. "My baby!", she screamed at the top of her lungs, "My baby is still in there!" With that she bolted toward the house. A volunteer firefighter (that's all we had where I come from) grabbed her by the arm to stop her from going into the burning house. She turned and whacked him a couple times and screamed at him "Let me go , my baby is in there." Nelly came up beside here and reminded her that baby Keith was still up at mom's house. Carol wouldn't listen, she kept screaming hysterically "My baby, my baby." Nelly finally had to slap her across the face and speak very slowly and directly to her that her baby was safe at mom's house.
The firemen had decided that an attic fire had started from some bad wiring. There wasn't a great deal of fire damage, but there was considerable smoke damage. The roof would also need replaced. The deputy sheriff told everyone to go home.
Carol asked her mom if they could stay with her until the house was fixed. Her step dad said he couldn't handle living with five kids under 10 years old. What would they do? They had no place to stay. My dad told them that they could stay with us until the repairs were done to their house, as long as there was NO FIGHTING between them in our house. He told them that if they wanted to fight, they would have to go somewhere else to do it.
They reluctantly agreed. They brought what groceries they had over, and what clothing that wasn't ruined. Lyle and Carol would sleep on our living room couch, with the baby next to them in a crib. All the other kids shared my bed with me. My brother didn't have to share his bed. There was five of us in that bed, three at the head and two at the foot. Thankfully there was no bed wetting problems, but there were numerous pillow thefts and blanket tug-o-wars.
Living in a house with two dominant women is not my idea of fun. Solomon may have been the wisest man who ever lived, but having 700 wives, that just isn't real bright. I would have loved to see some of the fighting between his wives. No fights ever broke out between Mom and Carol, but there was a lot of grumbling between them. Lyle worked as much overtime as his company would let him (smart man).
It took 3-4 months to get the repairs done. During this time, Lyle and Carol went across the street several times to have it out. Six months after they moved back into their house, Carol had another baby (which means it was probably conceived on our couch). Talk about kissing and making up.
The house is no longer there. It was torn down about 20 years ago. I still see Kendra and Holly when I visit my parent (who have lived on the same plot of land as long as I've been alive) because Kendra lives at her grandma's property, and Holly lives across the street from her.
My Tiny Kingom hosts a Flashback Friday carnival. Check it out for more stories of people you don't know telling about things that happened to them.