Warning: some images may be distributing to some of the readers.
Approximately 3 weeks back around 8:30 PM:
“Maam, have fire, have fire at home”, screamed my helper from her hand-phone. The other side of the phone were we – my hubby and me driving back after visiting a nearby temple. We had left home just 15 minutes back and I simply couldn’t comprehend what she was trying to say. All I could hear was kids cries in the background “Help help”. Hubby literally snatched the phone after sensing my panic and after he stopped the car at the side of the road. He could interpret what my loved ones at home were going through and told me that there was FIRE AT HOME!!!
He asked the helper what exactly happened. She said that my mum had just finished frying puris and that time the oil in the pan caught fire and then the fire spread to the kitchen hood aka chimney. Now according to them the fire was starting to rage and it was not small any more.
Now it was my turn to spring into action – I said let’s call fire brigade but at such emergency moments, we just blank out so we couldn’t remember the exact number 🙁 We straightaway called 999 and requested them to help ASAP as all sensitive age group people were stuck at home – Elderly person like my mom and my two kids. Reassuring voice of SCDF lady made me a bit calmer and second phone I made was to the helper and told them to evacuate and go out of the house immediately without wasting a single moment. The thought of my kids, mom and helper caught in the fire was very very scary.
In next 5-10 minutes, we were back at home and met our poor things waiting downstairs for us. Dazed and visibly under trauma! Now at least we all in the family were together and that was the best thing to happen in that situation. We were watching red-orange flames dancing in the kitchen and thick black smoke coming out of living room window. Terrible! That’s the only word we could think of. So many people were gathered by that time.
In next few moments, SCDF and Fire Brigade barged in and took the entire scene in their complete control. They cordoned off the area and started their work. A few minutes later came the good news – the fire was extinguished. Sigh of relief for all of us. No one knew the extent of damage that time so we were just praying that it should be minimal. At the same time we were thanking God that all were well – no injuries, no smoke inhalation etc.
2-3 hours later:
SCDF, Fire guys had completed the task and necessary procedures and we were allowed to take a look at home.
Whoa! That stench of the smoke – we couldn’t breathe normally at all. With sweat on our foreheads, hubby and me went in to see and my beloved kitchen looked so ruined. Gas stove and kitchen hood area was beyond recognition and there was thick greasy cover of smoke in the whole kitchen and on the large part of the living room.
How to stay at home? Obviously impossible especially it would be very unhealthy for kids. Kind people from neighborhood offered food, water, other help and offered to open up RC for us. Thankfully, Hubby’s colleague had some rooms vacant in her home and we stayed there overnight.
Next morning onwards, things slowly started to come to normalcy with smoke stench no more and electricity restored after HDB inspection. Major clean up needed to be done and we put kids in one bedroom and they were so happy to be back home…Even if burnt or whatever, Home is Home!!! ♥
Show MUST go on and that’s why we are almost out of the giant effect of the fire. The kitchen is renovated, new gas stove and kitchen hood is installed.
But will we ever really forget what happened? What about kids? They saw the actual fire and obviously will have some trauma at least. What such unexpected incident taught all of us and kids in particular?
Lessons kids and we learnt from Kitchen Fire Incident:
Never take anything for granted
It was not the first time we were cooking. It was not the first time we were deep-frying. Fire still broke. We probably took things for granted. We probably missed to take 100% care while cooking.
Now kids have surely learnt one thing – Keep checking what’s happening in the kitchen and overall in the home. Is there any burning smell coming from anywhere? Are the gas burners off after cooking? Have we kept the pressure cooker on for long time and lot of whistles are happening? Are laptops or phones are put for charging on the bed and why? Our little security guards are more alert now.
What to do in case of emergency
In our case when the fire started to rage, only kids, grandma and helper were at home. Since in the school, kids were educated about emergency procedures, they didn’t panic too much thankfully. Girl started thinking about what to do in case of fire etc. and boy asked all of them to go out of the house and stand near the lift. Girl also started calling neighbors for help.Indeed, they showed lot of presence of mind in the given situation.
After the fire, Fire Brigade passed us one document called “Post-Fire Procedure”. My boy ensured that his grandma read and explained everything from the book to him. She even simplified terms like Insurance on his insistence.
By the way, SCDF website has lot of resources for us to tackle emergency. There’s even Junior Civil Defence Emergency Handbook for kids.
After the fire, we were literally on the roads for a few hours. In home clothes, without any essentials…Kids learnt to adapt and be flexible. They slept in someone else’s home that day – not in the comfort of their own cozy bedroom and cuddling usual soft toys…No dinner on time that day for them because the incident happened right at the time of dinner. Kids didn’t say a word neither complained about anything. They ate whatever we gave them after a few hours and made themselves comfortable wherever they were. We tend to always pamper them but there’s always real world outside the cocoon. My kids got the taste of it that day.
For next few days, we didn’t have gas at home so we experimented with Induction cooker and rice cooker etc. to cook eatable meals. Kids found their fun moments in all this mess. Girl called us “Modern Cavemen”!
Thanks to our neighbors who offered food and water when we were sitting in the playground. Thanks to some aunties who were talking to the kids and trying to make things easier for us. Thanks to HDB staff who came to inspect and assured us of all the help. How to forget the gentleman from RC who was there with us till late night and ensured that we are okay. ♥
My hubby’s colleague who opened her doors almost midnight and made sure that we sleep well. Thanks gracious lady for all your support! Kids said thank you thank you to all of them many times with so much love. I am sure they’ll always remember the help people offered and will be ready to help others too.
Always respect real heroes
They are there, that’s why we are here! We started respecting our police, firemen and all the others in the public service more after fire. We can never never forget how swiftly they responded to our SOS and how quickly they arrived and the way they saved our home from further damage. Entire credit goes to this team to minimize and contain the damage only to kitchen. I cannot imagine what would have happened had firemen arrived 10 minutes later.
Kids have now new heroes to follow. I can see them in the pretend-play of the boy and girl’s eyes fill with gratitude when we mention their contribution.
I am sure that my kids will always respect the soldiers, firemen, police and all on-duty personnel who keep us safe and comfortable.
I wanted to share this with you all because such things can happen to anyone anytime. Lets be alert and lets make our kids also aware and prepared. If they are strong inside, they’ll be able to mend the circumstances their way.
Have you been in some such scenario? Do share with me because sharing is caring ♥
Love our blog? Check our portfolio here. ♥
Drop a line on RainbowDiariesWorld@gmail.com to collaborate with us for your products and services or Click here to get in touch with us.